The Elbphilharmonie

The Elbphilharmonie: in the spotlight of Hamburg’s cultural scene

The wait is finally over: on Wednesday, 11th January 2017, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie Hall officially opened its doors to local, national and international music enthusiasts with its inaugural concert. Among other guests, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal President Joachim Gauck and five members of the Federal Government attended the event, which featured a variety of pieces from composers such as Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Jacob Praetorius and Olivier Messiaen.

With its completion initially scheduled for 2010, the building, which is now the tallest construction in Hamburg, caused frequent debates due to the costs it generated. It was designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, two architects famous for the Tate Modern art gallery in London and the “birds‘nest” Olympic stadium in Beijing. The Elbphilharmonie Hall was built on a red brick base, which used to be a cocoa warehouse. The upper part is made of glass and resembles a ship overlooking the Elbe. The design of the interior is innovative too, as the main hall has the shape of a vineyard. In addition, the building consists of a small chamber hall, an education department and an observation deck with a panoramic view of the city.

The Elbphilharmonie Hall and its orchestra, the former NDR Symphony Orchestra, now renamed the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra already prove very popular among music lovers, as all the concerts of the opening season were fully booked within hours of the tickets‘ release. According to The New York Times, even concerts for which the artists have not been determined yet are now sold out. Furthermore, there was a draw for the inaugural performance, in which only 1,000 out of 220,000 participants were randomly selected and allowed to buy tickets.

Combining an original architecture with high-quality music, The Elbphilharmonie Hall has the potential to become one of Germany’s main music venues  and, to quote Federal President Joachim Gauck, even “a jewel of the German cultural nation“.

English – German Glossary

in the spotlight = im Rampenlicht

music enthusiasts = Musikinteressierte, Musikliebhaber

inaugural concert = Eröffnungskonzert

Federal Government = Bundesregierung

to attend (an event) = an (einer Veranstaltung) teilnehmen

to feature = darstellen

a variety of something = verschiedene

pieces =(hier) Musikstücke

composers = Komponisten

completion = Fertigstellung

initially = ursprünglich

scheduled for = für … vorgesehen

frequent = häufig

due to = wegen

to design = entwerfen

brick = Ziegel

warehouse = Lagerhaus

upper part = Oberteil

made of (a material) = aus

to resemble = ähneln

to overlook = überschauen, von oben überblicken

innovative = neuartig

vineyard = Weinberg

observation deck = Aussichtsplattform

former = ehemalig

renamed = umbenannt

prove very popular = sich als sehr beliebt erweisen

fully booked, sold out = ausgebucht

within hours of = binnen / innerhalb von Stunden nach

release (of tickets) = Abgabe

according to = laut

furthermore = außerdem

draw = (hier) Ziehung

randomly = zufällig, stichprobenartig

to allow = erlauben

high-quality = hochwertig

music venue = Musikstätte

to quote = zitieren


First image: ©

Second image: ©

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *