BERLIN (AP) — Hamburg’s spectacular new Elbphilharmonie concert hall is finally hosting its first concert on Wednesday night, several years behind schedule and far over the original budget.
President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel are among the guests expected at the maiden concert, to be conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock.
The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester will play music from the renaissance to the present, including works by Beethoven and Wagner and a new piece by German composer Wolfgang Rihm.
The grand opening was sold out quickly and the almost 500,000 tickets for the first half of this year are also long gone, but curious onlookers were invited to follow a light show on the building’s facade.
Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz stressed that the concert hall should be accessible to everyone.
“I firmly intend that … all children who go to school in Hamburg will have once heard a concert at the Elbphilharmonie,” Scholz said, according to the German news agency dpa.
The landmark building with its wave-shaped roof and shiny glass facades was built on top of a former cocoa and coffee warehouse jutting out into the harbor of Germany’s second-biggest city.