HAMBURG’S ICONIC ELBPHILHARMONIE CONCERT HALL REOPENS WITH REVISED CONCERT PROGRAMME.

One of the world’s leading concert halls has started its 2020/21 season, offering an outstanding selection of music in the coming months.

Hamburg, 2 September 2020: Five and a half months after the Corona lockdown began in March 2020, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg opens its doors to music lovers once more. Last night the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under chief conductor Alan Gilbert gave the first of a total of seven concerts before an enthusiastic audience, celebrating the reopening with programmes that include a new Brahms cycle. In the next few weeks, the music city of Hamburg will welcome audiences for concerts with such artists as Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Christian Tetzlaff, Yuja Wang, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Rudolf Buchbinder, Anna Prohaska and Simone Kermes, and conductors like Teodor Currentzis, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Robin Ticciati, George Benjamin, Thomas Adès and Jordi Savall. For some 200 events planned in September and October, 90,000 tickets will be on sale. (https://www.elbphilharmonie.com/TICKETS/)

To comply with the current Corona distance regulations, the Elbphilharmonie’s Grand hall can only be filled to one-third of capacity. In order to enable as many people as possible to attend a concert, many concerts will be given twice on the same evening (at 18.30 and 21.00), and without an interval. In addition to the rule of maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from others, the hygiene concept requires people to wear a mask inside the building. Once visitors have reached their seats, they can take the mask off.

In addition to an extensive programme performed by Hamburg’s local ensembles – the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the Symphoniker Hamburg and Ensemble Resonanz –, the Elbphilharmonie is once again putting on concerts with a wide variety of musical styles featuring international guests. Thus violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays the first three concerts of her soloist’s residency, which will consist of six appearances in all: It begins with two concerts where she is accompanied by the SWR Symphony Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis (23 September), continues with the staged project »Dies Irae« with music by Galina Ustwolskaja, Giacinto Scelsi and Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1 October) and brings the charismatic violinist together with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France from Paris under the baton of Mikko Franck, who accompany her in Karol Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto (23 October).

The music of the 20th and 21st centuries is traditionally one of the Elbphilharmonie’s strong points, and this is amply reflected in the first weeks of the new season. Helmut Lachenmann, for instance, who celebrates his 85th birthday in November, appears as narrator in a work of his own at one of the Patricia Kopatchinskaja residency concerts (23 September, sold out). The Briton Thomas Adès, Composer in Residence for the current season, can be heard in several concerts as piano soloist or conductor of both his own and other composers’ works (7 / 8 October). George Benjamin, Artist in Residence of the 2018/19 Elbphilharmonie season, performs both works of his own and Wolfgang Rihm’s »Jagden und Formen« with the Ensemble Modern (6 September) and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (7 September).
And Enno Poppe, one of the major German composers of the younger generation, leads the Karajan Academy of theBerlin Philharmonic through an exquisite programme that includes works by Rebecca Saunders and from his own pen (27 September).

The special celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth also continue. Jordi Savall and his orchestra Le Concert des Nations perform five of the Beethoven symphonies spread over four concerts (17/18 October; Laeiszhalle). Belgian authentic-performance guru René Jacobs has gone to work on Beethoven’s sole opera ‘Fidelio’ in the original version entitled ‘Leonore’, and he performs it on two evenings together with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and a line-up of outstanding young soloists in a version shortened to 90 mins (14/16 October).

Before the Quatuor Ébène embarks on its cycle of Beethoven string quartets in October (10 October and 23 October Brahmskontor 2017, Laeiszhalle), the Belcea Quartet makes a guest appearance in September with Beethoven’s last string quartet op. 130 with the Große Fugue (24 September, Laeiszhalle). And a contemporary orchestral arrangement of the Diabelli Variations by Hans Zender (’33 Variations on 33 Variations’) is played by the Remix Ensemble from Porto, before Herbert Schuch plays Beethoven’s original piano version in the same concert (22 September).

Owing to the pandemic, the big guest appearances planned this autumn by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia from Rome have had to be cancelled or postponed to the 2021/22 season. But the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Robin Ticciati with Christian Tetzlaff (8 October), the Munich Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev with Yuja Wang (10 October) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach with Ray Chen, (27 October) are sticking to their tour plans, and are coming to Hamburg with adapted concert programmes and smaller ensembles.

The concert programmes for the 2021/22 season are subject to constant revision, and tickets will be on sale at the beginning of the previous month (i.e. the beginning of October for concerts in November). You will find an overview of all events and tickets on auf www.elbphilharmonie.com (link: www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/concerts/TICKETS).

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