The opening ceremonies of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg took place on 11 and 12 January 2017. As part of the festivities, German Federal President Joachim Gauck, Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz, Jacques Herzog from Herzog & de Meuron, and General and Artistic Director Christoph Lieben-Seutter have spoken.
This was followed by the first concert in the Grand Hall played by the NDR Elbphilharmonie-Orchester – the orchestra in residence at the Elbphilharmonie – under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock together with renowned guest soloists. The programme also featured the very first performance of the work commissioned specially for the occasion by Wolfgang Rihm titled »Zum Raum wird hier die Zeit« (Here Time Becomes Space).
There was an encore performance of this concert on the evening of 12 January. Both concerts was accompanied by a one-of-a-kind light display on the facade of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. In the late afternoon of 12 January, the Recital Hall has also welcome its inaugural performance. Ensemble Resonanz, the ensemble in residence in the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie, has dubbed this opening evening »unknown space«. The evening included, among others, the first performance of a commissioned work by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas, under the direction of Emilio Pomàrico.
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – just opened
The new philharmonic is not just a site for music; it is a full-fledged residential and cultural complex. The concert hall, seating 2100, and the chamber music hall for 550 listeners are embedded in between luxury flats and a five-star hotel with built-in services such as restaurants, a health and fitness centre, conference facilities.
Long a mute monument of the post-war era that occasionally hosted fringe events, the Kaispeicher A has now been transformed into a vibrant, international centre for music lovers, a magnet for both tourists and the business world. The Elbphilharmonie will become a landmark of the city of Hamburg and a beacon for all of Germany. It will vitalize the neighbourhood of the burgeoning HafenCity, ensuring that it is not merely a satellite of the venerable Hanseatic city but a new urban district in its own right.