This year’s annual summit of the G20 heads of state and government is taking place in the north German port city of Hamburg on 7 and 8 July. In addition to the venues at the Hamburg Messe exhibition grounds, Hamburg’s new concert hall “Elbphilharmonie” will also play a special role. The Building, Hamburg’s new landmark, opened its gates in January. In the context of the summit, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited the heads of state and government as well as the representatives of the participating organisations to a concert on the night of the first day of the summit.
Following its spectacular opening in January, the Elbphilharmonie will be once again in the focus of international attention. With the concert house being Germany’s new cultural beacon, Chancellor Merkel, a classical music lover, made it a point to invite the G20 participants to an informal gathering at this unique concert hall that is situated right in the port. Guests will include the the US President Trump, President Putin from Russia, French President Macron, China’s President Xi Jinping, the UK’s Prime Minister May, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe, the President of the European Commission Juncker and UN Secretary-General Guterres – as well as all other participating political leaders and a number of other invited guests. All of these dignitaries will be attending a concert by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra under the baton of US conductor Kent Nagano, the orchestra’s General Music Director. The concert will be followed by a joint dinner of the political leaders in the Elbphilharmonie’s Recital Hall.
The music piece to be performed will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The Orchestra, many soloists and the Choir of the Hamburg-State-Opera will be inviting their international guests to experience the unique atmosphere and the excellent acoustics of the Grand Hall. As it happens, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the final movement of his Symphony No. 9 was played during the Elbphilharmonie’s opening concerts in January 2017. Back in 1985, the European Community adopted the ode as the official Anthem of Europe. The reasoning for that was that the ode celebrates the values they all share and their unity in diversity.
Yet not only the concert programme, but also the Elbphilharmonie itself is predestined to contribute to this year’s summit – as a modern cultural beacon, as a democratic space and as a “house for everyone”. By including the Elbphlharmonie in the programme of the G20 summit, Germany’s Federal Government and the City of Hamburg are sending a powerful cultural message. More: www.elbphilharmonie.de.