Five years in, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie venue is selling out concerts and becoming a symbol of its hometown

Posted on: January 19, 2022

Hamburg, Germany’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall, nicknamed “Elphi.” Photo: Maxim Schulz

“Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie opened in January 2017 with a glittering gala attended by celebrities and dignitaries,” writes Imogen Tilden in Monday’s (1/17) Guardian (UK). “The spectacular concert hall was praised for its bold design, its superb acoustics…. In Hamburg the Elbphilharmonie is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a week-long festival … with visiting orchestras including our own London Symphony Orchestra, plus Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, and the actual anniversary date celebrated by a concert of exclusively contemporary music…. With ‘Elphi,’ as it is affectionately known, the city has a new center of gravity. More than three million concertgoers to date have visited; concert audiences in the city have tripled and subscription concert-series subscribers have quadrupled…. ‘It has become a symbol of the city,’ says Alan Gilbert, the US-born principal conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie, the hall’s resident orchestra…. As well as most of the world’s top orchestras and soloists, there have been concerts by stars from the wider musical world…. The gala concert that celebrated the anniversary featured four works by living composers, the prior evening’s concert also was weighted towards contemporary music…. Few concert halls anywhere in the world would have the confidence to program such an evening, let alone find every seat filled.”