The Family Orchestra – an extended Musical Family

In this orchestra, musicians of all generations come together.

»Mummy, will it be Tuesday again soon?« – this is now a regular question in the Schultz home. For Lotta, Emil and Greta look forward to the weekly rehearsal of the Elbphilharmonie Family Orchestra, which they have been playing in since it was set up. Equipped with a violin, a cello and a clarinet plus lots of motivation, the three children and their mother Eva help form a unique ensemble every Tuesday.

The Family Orchestra presents itself

Familienorchester © Claudia Höhne

An Orchestra for the whole Family

The Family Orchestra is not just one of many amateur orchestras in Hamburg – it also brings generations together: children and parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. The oldest member is 70, the youngest an 8-year-old violinist. And even those who come on their own feel they’re in good hands, as the focus is on the community experience. The works that the orchestra plays are carefully arranged by Christoph Kalz to be playable by anyone.

»There's an amazing level of commitment here. Everyone gives the shirt off his back.«

Conductor Christine Philippsen

The Conductor: Christine Philippsen

»She is sooo nice!«

»What's special about the Family Orchestra? Many small families form one big one.«

A young participant

Notwithstanding, rehearsals are a must, of course. Christine Philippsen of Hamburg’s Staatliche Jungendmusikschule stands on the rostrum as conductor and artistic director. She brings the musicians of different age groups and levels of ability together in a confident and laid-back style, which finds favour not only in the Schultz family: »Mummy, the conductor is sooo nice!«

Every season, the audience is able to marvel at the fruits of weeks of rehearsal work at the final concert in the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall. For many people, this is a very special highlight: »I just can’t believe that I can play music like this with an orchestra. Normally, it’s only professionals who do that!« is a typical comment. Not to mention another sentence that professional musicians probably don’t utter so often: »Mummy, why do we only rehearse once a week?«

»I'm really lucky here« – Rehearsal impressions

Familienorchester © Claudia Höhne


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Hamburg International Music Festival

From 6 May to 6 June 2021 the digital music festival offers a wide range of top concerts from the Elbphilharmonie.

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Live stream in
on 6 May 2021 at 20:00 :
Digital Music Festival: Opening Concert

2021 festival: The Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and Kent Nagano with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and a William Blank premiere performed by a top line-up kick off this year’s festival.

Interview with William Blank

Music Festival 2021: Beethoven and flower petals – the Swiss composer on his premiere at the 2021 Music Festival.