Germany’s renowned concert hall celebrates the transformative impact of its fifth anniversary

Tomorrow (Tuesday 11 January 2022) marks the 5th anniversary of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s world-renowned concert hall designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. The occasion will be celebrated with a gala concert as part of a nine-day anniversary festival. Over the past five years, the Elbphilharmonie has exceeded all expectations by attracting 3.3 million spectators and 14.5 million visitors to its Plaza viewing platform, transforming the image of a whole city. Hamburg’s attendance numbers have tripled since 2017, earning Germany’s second-largest city a global reputation as a leading city for culture and travel destinations.

Since its opening in 2017 by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz, the Elbphilharmonie has hosted many of the world’s top orchestras alongside countless greats of classical music and other genres in more of 2,900 concerts – attracting 3.3 million spectators. With a combined annual audience figure of 1.25 million between the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle, concert audiences in the city of Hamburg have tripled over the past five years. The Elbphilharmonie’s viewing platform, the Plaza, offering 360-degree panoramic views of Hamburg and the Elbe, has additionally attracted 14.5 million visitors to date, surpassing many top tourist destinations. Germany’s favorites, including Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.

Five years of Elbphilharmonie Hamburg also represent the emergence of Hamburg’s new identity as a city of culture. The Elbphilharmonie fulfills its destiny as a beacon that illuminates the entire cultural landscape of the city comprising more than 300 cultural institutions, including some sixty museums and 45 theatres. The share of international visitors to Hamburg’s largest museum, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, doubled between 2016 and 2019. According to an official cultural tourism survey from October 2019, overnight stays in Hamburg increased by more than 15% between January 2017 and end of 2019. For 22% of German tourists spending the night in Hamburg for the first time, the main purpose of the trip was to attend an event at the Elbphilharmonie or to visit the viewing platform Square.

Hamburg’s Minister of Culture and Media, Dr. Carsten Brosda, said: “Hamburg has always been a great cultural city with a very long tradition. Thanks to the Elbphilharmonie with its inspiring architecture and its varied and high-quality programme, Hamburg’s image as a city of art and culture has been considerably strengthened both nationally and internationally.

Christoph Lieben-Seutter, General and Artistic Director of the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, said: “I am absolutely delighted that after a long period of uncertainty, the 5th anniversary concerts can indeed take place with only a few reductions. and in front of a full house. For me and my team, the coming week will be an opportunity to reflect on the exciting times we have shared since opening and to celebrate with our many companions, friends and supporters that the Philharmonie de the Elbe more than lived up to the high expectations that were placed on it.’

For the Elbphilharmonie’s 5th anniversary gala concert (January 11, 2022), the resident orchestra NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and its principal conductor Alan Gilbert will perform an entirely contemporary program by John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as the Piano Concerto by Thomas Adès with the dedicate work Kirill Gerstein. The concert will be streamed live and available for free viewing to global audiences at: The gala concert is at the heart of a nine-day anniversary festival (January 9-17, 2022) that reflects the caliber and diversity of the Elbphilharmonie program with a line-up including Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Jordi Savall, Charles Lloyd, John Scofield:

In cooperation with the Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg (MK&G), the Elbphilharmonie has commissioned the internationally renowned Dutch artist duo DRIFT to create an extraordinary light work for the 5th anniversary of the Elbphilharmonie . Entitled “Breaking Waves,” hundreds of illuminated drones flying over the Elbe will be choreographed to Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto, playfully bringing the concert hall‘s facade to life. ‘Breaking Waves’ will be performed from April 28 to May 1, 2022, kicking off the Hamburg International Music Festival 2022. The light artwork complements MK&G’s major exhibition, “DRIFT: Moments of Connection (January 7 – May 8, 2022), with three unique kinetic sculptures that transform a 350 square meter gallery into a sensual experience.


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