Grande Dame of the piano
Elisabeth Leonskaja is acknowledged as one of today’s eminent authorities at the piano keyboard. Since her breakthrough at the 1979 Salzburg Festival, the Russian pianist, who has been living in Vienna for more than 40 years, has enjoyed one international success after another. In 2006 she was awarded Austria’s Medal of Honour for Science and the Arts, first class, for her services to music – a distinction awarded 110 years before to no lesser figure than Johannes Brahms. At the Elbphilharmonie Leonskaja now plays all three Brahms sonatas on one evening.
A truly impressive undertaking: the Brahms piano sonatas have a reputation as not only some of the most beautiful, but also some of the most demanding works of their genre. This much was already evident in 1853 to perhaps the most influential composer and music critic of his time: Robert Schumann. He met the 20-year-old Brahms in Düsseldorf, who played Schumann the sonatas he had just completed on the piano. The wildly enthusiastic Schumann took up his pen without further ado and wrote: »These sonatas were more like veiled symphonies. He seemed as a raging current to unite them all in a waterfall, bearing a peaceful rainbow aloft as the water surged over the edge, carrying them to the shore accompanied by butterflies and the song of nightingales.«
Elisabeth Leonskaja piano
Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1
Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2
– Interval –
Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5
with Klaus Wiegmann (in German)
19:00 / Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal
Estimated end time
Hamburg International Music Festival
Heart of the Elbphilharmonie: the Grand Hall seats 2,100 guests in the »vineyard« style. The stage for artists and orchestras is situated at the centre of the concert hall and is surrounded by terraced seating.
The Elbphilharmonie is a special building situated in a special place. Allow for plenty of time for getting to the Elbphilharmonie and the way to the concert area. We suggest visitors arrive at the Elbphilharmonie Plaza not later than 30 minutes before the start of the concert or event. Late seating is not guaranteed and latecomers may not be admitted to the concert hall.
Concert tickets for the Grand and Recital Halls authorise a visit to the Plaza from two hours before the start of the concert or event. Visitors to the Kaistudios require a separate Plaza ticket to visit the Plaza.
Events without pre-concert talk:
Grand Hall Foyer: 60 minutes before the start of the event
Grand Hall: 30 minutes before the start of the event
Events with pre-concert talk:
Grand Hall Foyer: 90 minutes before the start of the event
Grand Hall: 15 minutes before the start of the talk
If a pre-concert talk is offered for this event, it is noted above under PROGRAMME.
Finding your seat
All visitors enter the building via the main entrance; access to the concert hall is via the »Plaza«, the viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie. The Plaza can be reached from the entrance area via the long escalator. Your tickets will be checked twice, at the access control in the entrance area and on the Plaza in front of the staircase to the Great Hall.
The hall entrances are on floors 12, 13, 15 and 16.
The cloakrooms are located on the 11th floor (fee: € 2). Jackets and handbags may be taken into the hall.
Walking-stick umbrellas, bags sized A3 (42 x 30 cm) or above, luggage and other bulky items must be stored in the lockers (largest size 27 x 87 x 47 cm) located in the corridor leading to the ticket shop on the ground floor (on the right-hand side of the entrance area).
Strollers and prams can be left with the admissions personnel on the Plaza. Wheeled walkers can be handed in at the hall entrances.
The central toilet facility is located on the 13th floor of the Grand Hall Foyer. Further facilities can be found on floors 11, 12 and 15.
Fully accessible toilets are located on floors 12 (north side) and 13 (right-hand side of the large bar). Our front-of-house staff is happy to assist you in this regard.
Photography and video recordings
It is forbidden to take photographs or record videos during a concert or event. Video recordings and photography are permitted for private purposes only on the Plaza and in the foyers as well as before the start or following an event in the concert hall, provided that you respect the privacy of other visitors and do not interfere with regular business operations. Employees may not be photographed or filmed.
Photography, audio or video recordings of concerts and events are strictly prohibited.
Event-related video recordings or photographs for editorial or commercial purposes must be authorised by the Press Office of the Elbphilharmonie.
The Elbphilharmonie can be easily reached by bus, underground, bicycle and ferry.
The nearest stops include:
Underground line U3: Baumwall
Underground line U4: Überseequartier
Bus 2, 111: Am Kaiserkai (Elbphilharmonie)
Bus 6: Auf dem Sande (Speicherstadt)
Ferry 72 (from Landungsbrücken pier): »Elbphilharmonie« pier
StadtRAD (bicycle sharing system) stations: U Baumwall (Elbphilharmonie) and Am Kaiserkai / Großer Grasbrook
Multistorey car park in the Elbphilharmonie (open 24/7, 435 parking spaces):
Please note that visitors to the Elbphilharmonie should use the entrance marked »Elbphilharmonie«. The entrance »Elbphilharmonie Hotel« is reserved for »The Westin Hamburg« hotel guests.
Please find more information about prices and advance booking of the discounted flat rate on this page: arrival by car
Toilet facilities are located in the foyer areas of each respective hall.
Grand Hall: The central toilet facility is located on the 13th floor of the Grand Hall Foyer. Further facilities can be found on floors 11, 12 and 15. Fully accessible toilets for persons with mobility disabilities are located on floors 12 and 13.
Recital Hall: Facilities for guests of the Recital Hall are located in the Recital Hall Foyer.
Kaistudio: Facilities for guests of the Kaistudio are located in the Kaistudio Foyer on the third floor.
Free public toilets are located on the western tip of the Plaza, adjacent to the Elbphilharmonie Shop, and are accessible via stairs.
Further toilets are located behind the ticket shop at the main entrance of the Elbphilharmonie.
All halls and spaces are accessible for visitors with disabilities. More information at www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/accessibility.
Lifts to the Plaza are located in the tunnel on the right-hand side of the Tube (long escalator). From the Plaza, access to the Grand and Recital Hall foyers is via lifts, also located to the right. Please note: cloakrooms for visitors to the Grand Hall are only located on the 11th floor. From there, the upper floors can be accessed via further lifts.
Coughing, clapping, chatting – Tips for your concert visit
A concert at the Elbphilharmonie is a unique experience for both audience and artists. Guests and musicians alike rave about the precise acoustics in the Grand Hall. You can hear every note, even from the highest balcony.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: even presumably quiet noises from the audience are clearly audible in the entire hall. We therefore ask our visitors to take the following recommendations into consideration: Tips for your concert visit
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