Munich decides on contested east side concert hall

The city cabinet agreed today to build a new concert hall in the vicinity of the Ostbahnhof. After ten years of prevarication and refusal, this is being acclaimed a triumph for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and its chief conductor, Mariss Jansons. The hall could be operational as soon as 2021.

There are drawbacks, however. At the moment, the development area is difficult to access by car. Cyclists and pedestrians can approach through two dark and dangerous tunnels. No-one has talked about building new roads.

We hear further that some of this development land is owned by a former Bavarian cabinet minister who is friendly with his successors.


A lobby group has formed to relocate the hall to the west of the city. This is not over yet.

munich ostbahnhof area

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  • Not the city cabinet, but the state cabinet of Bavaria.

    The other possible location west of the city isn’t much better either. Many artists are campaigning for building the hall right in the city centre (there are two locations that seem quite appropriate), but the state and city governments have another agenda.

          • The problem with the Finanzgarten seems to be that for building the hall there it would be necessary to tear down a number of trees. Despite the fact that the much larger Englischer Garten is nearby, this is unthinkable for a small but loud lobby group. And by coincidence, the Finanzgarten is located within the constutuency of the Bavarian minister of culture…

  • Careful! The (very) long term agenda of the corporate world and their representatives in the CSU party is the abolition of the public broadcasting system, including their cultural pillars like BRSO. Building a hall far out might be a first step into that direction.
    No, Munich’s main concert hall must be in the center, every CSU politicians understands the increased revenue for businesses, shops and restaurants around the new concert hall.

  • There are also good arguments for the current plan. Munich’s city center is already stuffed to the gills. Why further burden it with yet more traffic? The area on the other side of the Ostbahnhof is indeed desolate, which might be exactly why it should be revived with a new concert hall and the nice businesses and urban revitalization that will evolve around it. The new concert hall could be seen as an extension of Haidhausen, a very nice area on the other side of the Ostbahnhof.

    BTW, in Munich one need not look so far away as the ElbPhilharmonie for a concert hall that is an acoustic and architectural disaster….

    • “Disaster”
      Always funny in what extreme hyperbole acoustics are discussed. Disaster or greatest of the greatest, nothing inbetween. In fact there are 500 shades of grey when it comes to concert hall acoustics, but that’s apparently too complex to handle for the widespread infantility in classical musicians when it comes to talking about their playgrounds.

      • Yeah, that’s why they have planned to spend 300 million Euros to “renovate” the Gasteig in Munich — a building only 30 years old — including entirely gutting the large concert hall.

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