Elbphilharmonie partially opens to the public

After a six-year delay part of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie will finally open to the public on 4 November. Its plaza space – which connects the old and new buildings that make up the complex – will give visitors a view of the Norderelbe River and a taste of what the project will be like once it is completed. The new hall itself opens on 11 January.

Elbphilharmonie

Even by concert hall standards Elbphilharmonie has been a difficult project. Its original budget of €77m has shot up to €789m, while construction has taken six years longer than expected. In fact, it is 13 years since Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron began work on the building 2003. Construction began on 2 April 2007, but was delayed for more than a year due to a disagreement between the construction company Hochtief, the architects and the city.

Elbphilharmonie

Now though the building work is over, with only the fixtures and fittings to be installed. The building includes a 2,100-seat concert hall, a 500-seat chamber hall, a restaurant and rehearsal spaces. The impressive glass exterior extends more than 100 metres into the sky, creating a wave-like silhouette.

Resident orchestra NDR Elbphilharmonie opens the hall on 11 January with a world premiere of a piece by Wolfgang Rihm, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock and featuring tenor Jonas Kaufmann. It marks the start of a three-week long festival to celebrate the building’s completion (details of the programme have yet to be released).

elbphilharmonie.de

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