The Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany, on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world. It is popularly nicknamed Elphi.
According to USAToday, Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie concert hall opened on January 11, delivering one of Germany's most prestigious 21st century cultural projects - albeit some seven years late and busting its budget. Despite all the controversy and acrimony, Hamburg now has a remarkable new architectural symbol. Its inhabitants hope will help redefine and reinvent their city. Hamburg, the richest and second-biggest city in Germany has an extraordinary musical heritage evident in the stunning array of classical composers it has spawned or nurtured.
The new landmark, with a red-brick base and glass structure on top, curved windows and a roof that resembles the crest of a wave, is built on a 1960s warehouse that stored tea, tobacco, and cocoa. Overlooking Hamburg harbor, it evokes a ship floating on water and is part of a development that uses old warehouses to create residential and office space in Germany's biggest port.
As reported by DW, the Elbphilharmonie has been both "dream and nightmare, a world-class star and a joke, an embarrassment, and a miracle," said Joachim Gauck in his opening speech. Germany's President was referring to the bitter augments and budgetary excesses that made the Elbphilharmonie the paradigmatic building scandal.
220,000 individuals from every part of the world participated in the random drawing for a ticket to the opening concert. The roughly 1,000 lucky ones took their seats next to invited guests including Chancellor Angela Merkel and Parliamentary President Norbert Lammert as well as Andreas Vosskuhle, President of the Federal Constitutional Court and Olaf Scholz, and Mayor of Hamburg. Hamburg shows how a different city will weigh priorities differently.
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