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Family Day

The opening festival ended with an exhilarating finale: impressions from Family Day

The atmosphere at the Elbphilharmonie has never been as lively as on the last day of our Opening Festival, 29 January: On Family Day some 7,500 children and adults embarked on a voyage of discovery in the new building, strolling through the foyers, across the Plaza, through the Recital Hall and the Grand Hall, down into the Kaistudios and up to the top, right under the roof. On this day, music could be heard in even the most hidden corner of the building.

Metcalf: Children’s Songs / Family Day / Kühne Sky Lounge
Metcalf: Children’s Songs / Family Day / Kühne Sky Lounge © Claudia Höhne

In concerts large and small, in musical theatre productions, open orchestral rehearsals and workshops where people could sing and clap along, young and adult visitors alike had the chance to immerse themselves in the world of music. A mood of excitement was afoot in the Kaistudios as well: in the World of Instruments that the studios house, many classical and exotic instruments were waiting for the public to try them out. Under supervision by music teachers, budding musicians plucked the harp strings, coaxed dark tones from the double bass and drummed infectious rhythms on the African djembé.

Workshops for Young and Old Alike

There was something for every age group on Family Day in the Elbphilharmonie: the infants listened to the Elfi Baby Concert given by Ensemble Resonanz or danced with Robert Metcalf and his teddy bear, while older children enjoyed the HipHop Academy’s cool show with rap, dance and beatboxing, or looked over principal conductor Thomas Hengelbrock’s shoulders in the Grand Hall as he rehearsed with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.

Percussion and String Instrument Workshop / Family Day
Percussion and String Instrument Workshop / Family Day © Jann Wilken

Introduction to the Pipe Organ

The Elbphilharmonie organ is a pretty impressive instrument: it consists of 4,765 individual pipes, the biggest of which measures a full 10 metres, while the smallest is only 11 millimetres long. Titular organist Iveta Apkalna can operate every one of them from her console. She explained the instrument’s main functions to an interested audience, and gave a sample of the different sounds the organ can produce.

Presentation of Pipe Organ / Iveta Apkalna / Family Day / Grand Hall
Presentation of Pipe Organ / Iveta Apkalna / Family Day / Grand Hall © Claudia Höhne

On Sound Safari

Equipped with recording devices, the participants of our »Klangsafari« embarked on a hunt for interesting noises. Whether it was the soft strings in the Recital Hall or the steps of visitors in the stairwell of the foyer; the wind whistling across the Plaza or the squeaking of the elevator: wherever our courageous explorers listened, there were exciting sounds to be discovered.

Klangsafari / Family Day
Klangsafari / Family Day © Jann Wilken

Special Guest Johannes Oerding

As one would expect at a major event, the day came to an end with a big surprise. One major act had been kept a secret, and was only announced on the day itself: singer-songwriter Johannes Oerding, who has made Hamburg his home, appeared in the Grand Hall with his band – a fitting conclusion to a truly extraordinary day at the Elbphilharmonie.

Johannes Oerding / Family Day
Johannes Oerding / Family Day © Claudia Höhne