Paris’s Philharmonie concert hall, at city’s edge, attracting audiences from all over

Posted on: December 1, 2017

“Until 2015, most world-class orchestras and soloists invited to Paris performed at the Salle Pleyel, an Art Deco concert hall near the Champs-Élysées in the upscale Eighth Arrondissement,” writes Farah Nayeri in Wednesday’s (11/29) New York Times. “Today, top-tier orchestras and performers play at the Philharmonie de Paris, a 2,400-seat concert hall in the working-class 19th Arrondissement…. Before the Philharmonie’s January 2015 opening, there were widespread fears that Paris’s classical-music patrons would balk at traveling to a blue-collar area to hear music…. Said Christoph Lieben-Seutter, general and artistic director of the 2,100-seat Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, which opened this year … ‘We were all asking, “Will this work?” And it does.’ … For its everyday operations, the Philharmonie receives an annual tax-funded subsidy of around €40 million, according to its president, Laurent Bayle. It raises an additional €45 million itself…. Concerts in the main auditorium … run at 95 percent capacity on average, up from 85 to 90 percent at the smaller Salle Pleyel…. The Philharmonie is pulling in patrons from all over Paris and its immediate suburbs, thanks to a diverse program…. The Philharmonie is striving to reach out to [younger audiences] digitally [with free] live-streams [of] 60 concerts a year.”

Posted December 1, 2017