• Hamburg’s concert audience trebled since the opening of the Elbphilharmonie in 2017
  • Overnight stays in Hamburg increased by more than 15% between January 2017 and late 2019, prior to the pandemic
  • Anniversary festival to feature concerts by Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle, London Symphony Orchestra and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra

Tomorrow (Tuesday 11 January 2022) marks the 5th anniversary of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s world-renowned concert hall designed by the 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 surpassed all expectations by attracting 3.3 million concertgoers and 14.5 million visitors to its Plaza viewing platform, at the same time transforming the image of an entire city. The number of concertgoers in Hamburg has trebled since 2017, earning Germany’s second city a global reputation as a leading city for culture and travel destination.

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

Five years of Elbphilharmonie Hamburg also stands for the emergence of Hamburg’s new identiy as a city of culture. Elbphilharmonie fulfills its destiny as a lighthouse that illuminates the city’s entire cultural landscape comprising more than 300 cultural institutions, including some 60 museums and 45 theatres. The share of international visitors to Hamburg’s largest museum Hamburger Kunsthalle has doubled between 2016 and 2019. According to an official cultural tourism survey in October 2019, overnight stays in Hamburg have increased by more than 15% between January 2017 and late 2019. For 22% of German overnight tourists who visited Hamburg for the first time, the primary purpose of travel was to attend an event at the Elbphilharmonie or to visit the Plaza viewing platform.

Hamburg’s Minister for 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, high-quality programme, Hamburg’s image as a city of art and culture has become much more pronounced 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 actually take place with only a few cutbacks and in front of a full house. For me and my team, the week ahead will offer the opportunity to reflect on the exciting times we have shared since the opening and to celebrate with our many companions, friends and supporters the fact that the Elbphilharmonie has more than fulfilled the high expectations that were placed on it.’

5th Anniversary Celebrations

For Elbphilharmonie’s 5th birthday gala concert (11 January 2022), the resident orchestra NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and its chief conductor Alan Gilbert will perform an all-contemporary programme of John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto featuring the work’s dedicatee Kirill Gerstein. The concert will be streamed live and available for play back for free to an worldwide audience on: www.elbphilharmonie.de The gala concert is at the heart of a nine-day anniversary festival (9–17 January 2022) that reflect the calibre and diversity of Elbphilharmonie’s programme with a line-up including Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Jordi Savall, Charles Lloyd, John Scofield: https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/5-years-elbphilharmonie.

Spectacular Light Instillation by DRIFT

In cooperation with the Museum for 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 Elbphilharmonie’s 5th anniversary. Entitled ‘Breaking Waves’, hundreds of illuminated drones flying above the River Elbe will be choreographed to Thomas Adès’s Piano Concerto, playfully bringing the façade of the concert hall to life. ‘Breaking Waves’ will be performed 28 April to 1 May 2022, kicking off the 2022 Hamburg International Music Festival. The light artwork complements MK&G’s major exhibition, ‘DRIFT: Moments of Connection’ (7 January – 8 May 2022), featuring three unique kinetic sculptures that transform a 350-square-metre gallery space into a sensual experience.


Five Years of Elbphilharmonie Facts & Figures

  • More than 14.5 million visitors to the Plaza viewing platform (04/11/2016–11/01/2022) and around 3.3 million concert guests (11/01/2017–11/01/2022) to date
  • Over 2,900 concerts have been performed in the Elbphilharmonie to date (1,600 of these have taken place in the Grand Hall)
  • More than 3,400 educational events, with almost 200,000 visitors/participants as well as 9,782 guided tours
  • The longest concert lasted 9 hours: Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Organ Symphony No. 2 (Kevin Bowyer, organ) on 15 Sep 2019. The shortest concert lasted 30 minutes: the “Pepe & Speedy” twinkle concert on 4 Sep 2020 (as well as other dates).
  • The most frequently performed works:

Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 Op. 92 (27 performances)

Dvořák, Symphony No. 9 Op. 95 ‘From the New World’ (26 performances)

Brahms, Symphony No. 1 Op. 68 (20 performances)

  • The most frequently performed composers:

Beethoven: 486x; Mozart: 390x; Bach: 350x

  • Between 11 January 2021 and early November 2021, the gastronomic establishments of the Elbphilharmonie served 200,785 pretzels, 25,251 glasses of Crémant, 255,215 one-litre bottles of white Burgundy wine, 23,795 glasses of Aperol Spritz and 7,443 glasses of Champagne Ruinart.

The Elbphilharmonie as a touristic hotspot and ‘cultural tourism amplifier’ (Survey to identify Hamburg’s guest potential in the area of cultural tourism, October 2019, excerpts)

  • Overnight stays in Hamburg have increased by more than 15% between January 2017 and late 2019. Overnight stays by international guests have increased by 15.8%. This marked increase is partially owing to the Elbphilharmonie’s strong appeal.
  • While Hamburg is primarily associated with its port (as stated by 25% of tourists surveyed), this is now directly followed by the Elbphilharmonie (23% of respondents).
  • For 22% of German overnight tourists who visit Hamburg for the first time, the travel occasion is an Elbphilharmonie event or a visit to the Plaza viewing platform.
  • International examples: 17% of Danish first-time guests come to Hamburg to attend a concert in the Elbphilharmonie, and for 16% the travel occasion is a visit to the Plaza. As regards tourists from Switzerland, 18% of overnight guests come to Hamburg for the first time to attend a concert in the Elbphilharmonie (repeat attendees: 21%). For one quarter of Swiss guests, the travel occasion is a visit to the Plaza.
  • 75% of the Elbphilharmonie visitors also attended an opera production, 73% attended a drama/theatre play, 82% dance and ballet, 80% visited exhibitions and galleries and 58% visited museums during their stay in Hamburg.
  • At the Hamburger Kunsthalle, for example, the city’s largest art museum, the share of visitors from abroad increased after the opening of the Elbphilharmonie from 11% in 2016 to 21% in 2019.