The Elbphilharmonie maintains several in-house ensembles. For young or old, with or without any musical experience – everyone who wants to join in will find the right format. The ensemble members, all of them amateurs, rehearse a concert programme at weekly sessions, which they then perform to the public.
After the official opening of the Elbphilharmonie, a much-travelled set of instruments was also put into operation: the gamelan, a traditional Indonesian gong orchestra. The specimen at the Elbphilharmonie is formed of 45 individual instruments: bronze gongs in different sizes, metallophones, xylophones, drums and stringed instruments. What makes the gamelan special is that it’s always played in a group.
How is it to play in the Gamelan Ensemble?
Even rehearsals with the Audience Orchestra are quite an experience for many musicians, e.g. for Wiebke Gronemeyer, who plays the oboe and the cor anglais: »It’s a wonderful experience to immerse yourself in an ensemble like this once a week.« And the actual concert puts the icing on the cake: Every season, the orchestra performs in the Grand Hall under the baton of their conductor Michael Petermann, director of the Hamburger Konservatorium. »If you live in Hamburg and you witnessed the construction work and the completion of the building at first hand, the chance to play at the Elbphilharmonie is the high point in an amateur musician’s career,« says trumpeter Matthias Witt.
The Audience Orchestra introduces itself
You don't need to be able to play an instrument to play in this orchestra: the Elbphilharmonie's Creative Orchestra plays music in unconventional fashion and has lots of fun in the process, using kitchen equipment, people's bodies and plenty of improvisation. Six months of rehearsals culminate in a grand finale, where the orchestra gives a concert in the Kaistudio.
Impressions from the Creative Orchestra workshop
If you'd rather sing than play, click here: