3-week festival to include 30 concerts and events for all

Opening concerts to feature opera stars Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros, resident orchestra NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and premiere by leading German composer Wolfgang Rihm

International visiting artists and ensembles include Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Riccardo Muti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov/Ingo Metzmacher, Yo-Yo Ma, Mitsuko Uchida, Magdalena Kožená and Thomas Hampson​

Germany’s new musical and cultural landmark the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will open with a three-week festival from 11-29 January 2017. With a programme of 30 concerts and events, the Elbphilharmonie will host leading musicians and ensembles from around the world as well as Hamburg’s music ensembles, most notably the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as resident orchestra.

The Elbphilharmonie will celebrate its official opening with two concerts on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 January 2017 featuring the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock with opera superstars Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros, Philippe Jaroussky and Wiebke Lehmkuhl. The programme will include the world premiere of a specially commissioned work by German contemporary composer Wolfgang Rihm.

The Opening Festival will also showcase Hamburg’s music ensembles including the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble Resonanz chamber orchestra. Resident at the Elbphilharmonie’s Recital Hall, the musicians of Ensemble Resonanz bridge the gap between tradition and the present in their innovative programmes.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, from Hamburg's twin city, under music director Riccardo Muti, will be the Elbphilharmonie’s first visiting orchestra. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov will perform the First symphony of Gustav Mahler – the most celebrated non-native born composer to live and work in Hamburg.

Mitsuko Uchida, who selected three Steinway concert pianos for the Elbphilharmonie, will give the first solo piano recital in the Grand Hall with Classical music. Just two days before American pianist Brad Mehldau will play the first solo concert with Improvised Music. The Indian Sarangi player Dhruba Ghosh will inaugurate Elbphilharmonie’s world music series “World Classics”. Einstürzende Neubauten, the legendary band from Berlin, will perform two concerts at the Grand Hall.

The Arditti Quartet will open Elbphilharmonie’s ‘State of the Art’ strand dedicated to classical music of today with a modernist programme including Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann. American baritone Thomas Hampson will join The Philharmonics for an evening of light music from Johann Strauss Jr. to Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will collaborate with Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh for a preview concert to Elbphilharmonie’s “Salām Syria” festival later in 2017. Built by the celebrated Johannes Klais Orgelbau in Bonn, the Elbphilharmonie’s 4,765-pipe concert organ will be inaugurated by the hall’s resident organist Iveta Apkalna in a programme spanning three centuries.

German conductor Ingo Metzmacher, former General Music Director of the City of Hamburg, makes his debut at the Elbphilharmonie with two concerts conducting first the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and later the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in a concert performance of Arnold Schönberg’s opera “Moses und Aron”.

The Elbphilharmonie’s opening festival will close on Sunday 29 January with a ‘Family Day’ to which all ages are invited to participate. All the orchestras and ensembles of the NDR (North German Broadcasting), the Ensemble Resonanz and pop and jazz musicians will offer a varied programme from baby concerts to group singing workshops.

Two curtain raiser events will take place ahead of the opening: Until 4 December, Brian Eno’s walk-through sound installation, ‘The Ship’, is presented in Kaistudio 1, the future heart of the Elbphilharmonie’s extensive music education area. From 1-4 January, Sasha Waltz & Guests will present a dance work based on the choral piece, ‘Figure Humaine’ by Francis Poulenc, exploring the spectacular foyer of the grand concert hall.


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