Christoph Lieben-Seutter: Hamburg, An Acoustic Vessel
In German-speaking countries, Vienna and Berlin are the double-headed eagle of music, while Hamburg is often overlooked as a music-lover’s city. Yet Germany’s first public opera house was founded here, in 1678; it is the birthplace of Brahms and Mendelssohn; and it is where Heinrich Steinweg, the piano maker who Americanized his name to Henry Steinway in the 19th century, established part of his business. And now there’s some- thing else that places Hamburg at the forefront of the music scene: the Elbphilharmonie, a colossal building designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. In 2017, after ten years of costly construction work, this glass wave-like structure is set to become the city’s emblem. “Few cities can boast a concert hall as their symbol,” says its director, Christoph Lieben-Seutter. The old Laeiszhalle, built in 1908, will continue to function, but the Elbphilharmonie’s programs will be “bolder and more innovative,” he says.
ELBPHILHARMONIE Am Kaiserkai. Tél. +49 (0)40 357 666 66. www.elbphilharmonie.de LAEISZHALLE Johannes-Brahms-Platz. Tél. +49 (0)40 357 666 66. www.elbphilharmonie.de