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Hamburg's new concert hall

Sara Mohr-Pietsch visits Hamburg's new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie. Plus German composer Jorg Widmann and a discussion about the relationship between belief and music.

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45 minutes

Chapters

  • The world's most exciting concert hall?

    Duration: 20:06

  • Jorg Widmann

    Duration: 09:54

  • Beyond belief: music and religion

    Duration: 12:38

The world's most exciting concert hall?

The world's most exciting concert hall?

The €860m Elbphilharmonie concert hall in the German port city of Hamburg has finally opened its doors, seven years later than planned, and ten times over the original budget.

Sara Mohr-Pietsch takes a tour of the building and meets the hall’s director Christoph Lieben-Seutter, who explains how he arrived at the Elbphilharmonie in 2007 expecting the hall to be finished within three years – and reveals his ambition to make it the most exciting concert hall in the world.

Jorg Widmann is one of three composers who have been commissioned to write new works for the opening festivities at the Elbphilharmonie. He describes how he was struck by “how the silence sounds” in the hall, and the feeling of being “a part of the whole thing” from any seat in the room.


Inspiring architecture

Inspiring architecture

While musicians explain how they are inspired by the building’s architecture - “I feel like I’m in a spaceship… you really feel like you are in the future” - journalists, officials and concert-goers give their view on whether the concert hall is really worth the huge sum of money spent on it.

How does it sound?

How does it sound?

British journalist Martin Kettle, who heard the opening concert at the Elbphilharmonie, assesses criticisms that have emerged of the acoustics in the new concert hall.


More information:

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester

Why Germany is proud of the Elbphilharmonie

Designing the concert hall’s acoustics

Beyond belief: music and religion

Beyond belief: music and religion

How do music and religion intertwine in the modern world? And how does one inspire the other?
As the Southbank Centre launches a year-long festival, Belief and Beyond Belief, exploring issues of art and faith, composers Roxanna Panufnik, Jennifer Walshe and John Rutter discuss their own experience of how the spiritual and the musical meet each other in their work, and writer Philip Ball outlines how science has historically brought music and religion together. 

More information:

Belief and Beyond Belief at Southbank Centre

Roxanna Panufnik

Jennifer Walshe

John Rutter

Philip Ball: The Music Instinct

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch
Interviewed Guest Jorg Widmann
Interviewed Guest John Rutter
Interviewed Guest Roxanna Panufnik
Interviewed Guest Jennifer Walshe
Interviewed Guest Philip Ball

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Podcast