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Iveta's box of chocolates - The Elbphilharmonie

Musical delights with star organist Iveta Apkalna

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Iveta’s box of chocolates
Iveta’s box of chocolates
Iveta’s box of chocolates
Iveta’s box of chocolates
Elbphilharmonie, Johannes KLais organ © Claudia Höhne
The organ in the Great Hall was built by the organ-building company Johannes Klais Orgelbau (Bonn). Development and manufacture took a total of eight years and continued even during the Philharmonie’s temporary construction stop. Since the instrument here – in contrast to other concert halls – is placed in the middle of the auditorium, the front pipes had to be protected with a special coating. The instrument has 69 stops with 4,765 pipes, 380 of which are made of wood. The organist can play the instrument from two four-manual consoles, almost identical in appearance: one is permanently attached to the organ, the other is mobile and is positioned on the orchestra platform for playing. Four stops are housed as Fernwerk (floating) in the hall’s ceiling reflector, among them the transverse stentor clarinet; The Choir and Solo works can be uncoupled from the associated manuals, the Swell only at the electric console. The organ has a width and a height of about 15 metres each and a depth of about 3 metres; it weighs about 25 tonnes. The maximum wind consumption is about 180 m³ per minute. The action of the fixed console is mechanical, that of the mobile console and the stop actions are electric.
The Elbphilharmonie (known as the “Elphi” for short) is a concert hall and the new landmark of the city of Hamburg. The 110-metre-high building in the HafenCity district is visible from afar on the right bank of the Norderelbe. It was built incorporating a former quayside pier dating from 1963. A modern structure with a glass façade reminiscent of sails, water waves, icebergs or a quartz crystal was placed on this base. The location at Kaiserhöft is characterised by the former industrial use of the harbour and the neo-Gothic brick architecture of the Speicherstadt. In the first year after the opening in January 2017, around 850,000 people attended the more than 600 concerts in the “Elphi” and over 60,000 took part in the house’s music education programme.
Iveta’s box of chocolates
Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie © Maxim Schulz
Iveta’s box of chocolates
Iveta Apkalna © Aiga Redmane
The Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna wants to let the splendour of the organ shine outside of churches in large concert halls. As the titular organist of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, she has been present there since the opening concerts in January 2017 and has recorded the first CD on the Klais organ under the title Light & Dark. Her expertise in the conception, construction and recording phase of new organs is much in demand. Iveta Apkalna is one of the world’s leading organ virtuosos, performing as a soloist and with the most important orchestras. In 2005 she was awarded the Echo Classic as Instrumentalist of the Year – the first organist ever to do so. She has received numerous honours, such as the Three Star Order of Latvia-the country’s highest state award-as well as the Latvian Grand Music Award twice, and has been appointed Latvia’s cultural ambassador.

Iveta's box of chocolates - The Elbphilharmonie

Musical delights with star organist Iveta Apkalna

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