New Paris concert hall opening today aims to bridge divides

Posted on: January 14, 2015

“The Philharmonie de Paris rises like a flight of doves, its sprawling waves of concrete and steel designed by the star architect Jean Nouvel to symbolize the end of the ‘eternal ostracism’ of the struggling neighborhoods nearby,” writes Doreen Carvajal in Tuesday’s (1/13) New York Times. The hall opens tonight.  “President François Hollande of France will inaugurate the hall, and the Orchestre de Paris will play the Requiem by the French composer Gabriel Fauré in a memorial tribute to victims of last week’s terrorist attacks here…. The hall is on the edge of the Parc de la Villette, in the 19th Arrondissement in northeast Paris, just inside the ring road that symbolizes the divide between the wealthy center of Paris and the working-class and poor suburbs outside of it. The challenge is to still attract aging concertgoers from the center, where most of the city’s established cultural institutions are, but also to reach new generations in the suburbs … The Orchestre de Paris and Ensemble Intercontemporain … will take up permanent residence. Two other orchestras and Les Arts Florissants, the Baroque vocal and instrumental ensemble, will perform there regularly…. The state-owned Salle Pleyel … that has been home to the Orchestre de Paris will no longer host classical music concerts.”

The inaugural gala concert is being streamed live today at 2:30pmET by Radio France and on WQXR’s homepage.

Posted January 14, 2015