5 Years of Elbphilharmonie

How time flies! It’s almost been five years since the Elbphilharmonie opened its (concert hall) doors for the first time and Hamburg residents finally got the chance to see their city’s new landmark from the inside. And that they did, in no uncertain way! Since then, the Plaza has counted millions of visitors, local and from farther afield, while hundreds of thousands have attended the concerts. As the pandemic gradually comes to an end, we want to pick up this success story where we left off. The party is already under preparation, with a whole week of celebrations planned in the Grand and Recital Halls, with Hamburg’s orchestras and famous international guests. To start off, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and Kent Nagano give two more performances of Jörg Widmann’s spectacular oratorio »Arche«, which Widmann composed specially for the Grand Hall in the opening weeks.

The actual anniversary dates – 11 January for the Grand Hall and 12 January for the Recital Hall – belong to our two Orchestras in Residence. Both the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert and Ensemble Resonanz have chosen plenty of contemporary music for their programmes, and are joined by prominent guest artists.

Two guest appearances each are contributed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim; Recital Hall visitors can look forward to a chamber music evening with early music icon Jordi Savall, the American jazz guitarist John Scofield and electronica pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

The anniversary week is brought to an end by the Publikumsorchester (Audience Orchestra) in the Grand Hall. And it goes without saying that titular organist Iveta Apkalna joins in as well: she plays her own birthday congratulations two weeks later, almost five years to the day after her first solo recital in the Grand Hall.