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Opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, a unique 2,400-seater concert hall

BY THE NUMBERS
January 21, 2015
The Philharmonie de Paris, the city’s impressive new concert hall with exceptional acoustics, opened on Wednesday 14 January. The Orchestre de Paris gave the inaugural concert, accompanied by artists including the soloist Hélène Grimaud.  The Philharmonie de Paris is set to rival the world’s greatest musical institutions.

Here are a few facts and figures about this spectacular building that threw its doors open on January 17-18 for a series of free concerts performed by the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris conducted by Laurence Equilbey.
Seen from the outside, this metal building, designed by Jean Nouvel, is 52 meters high. It has a roof terrace overlooking Paris which can accommodate up to 700 visitors.  The façade is covered with 340,000 metal birds, symbolizing the soaring musical concerts given inside.
This architectural complex houses a concert hall that’s truly unique - both for its size and acoustic qualities.  In fact, it can seat 2,400 people at a maximum distance of 30 meters from the conductor.  To surround the audience with sound, a space has been left between the balconies and the wall, and a team of engineers has been brought in to create a scalable hall with 17 layouts. The stage can be moved forwards and the balconies pushed backwards to accommodate 3,650 people with standing room in the orchestra pit, depending on the performance.
The Philharmonie de Paris’ program is just as innovative. More than 25% of concerts will be devoted to jazz, world music and contemporary sounds. And to deliver on its promise of making classical music available to everyone, 50 concerts have been planned for families and young people.  In a bid to attract new audiences, the complex also houses a 2,000 sq.m. education center where up to 120,000 young people a year will be invited to try their hand at playing 4,000 musical instruments.
Lastly, the building will also play home to several resident orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris and the Ensemble intercontemporain, with 500 musicians expected to use its 17 rehearsal rooms every day.
Right from the first day, the affordable tickets offered by the Philharmonie have proven to be extremely popular: 80% of its seats have been booked until the end of February and 60% until June.

Find out more:
Listen again to the opening concert given by the Orchestre de Paris with solo pianist Hélène Grimaud
Listen to the concert given by the Orchestre de Paris on 17 January, conducted by Laurence Equilbey
Discover more about what inspires the conductor Laurence Equilbey and the pianist Hélène Grimaud

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