Paris concert hall hits 97% capacity

The benefits of a new hall are all too evident in Paris.

The large concert hall of the Paris Philharmonie sold 97 percent of its tickets in 2016, it was announced today. The average across all halls in the complex was 93 percent.

From what we’re hearing, the two main London halls – RFH and Barbican – are presently playing 20 percentage points below Paris.

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  • The reason is, of course, the image of ‘Hochkultur’ in Britain. The more populist the society, the less interest in something like concert halls and their offerings. On the continent, culture has always been important to national self-understanding and thus, something to be supported by the government as an offering to the whole of society. Where it is seen as mainly a form of chique entertainment, it has to compete with other forms of entertainment, and that is increasingly difficult.

    I wonder though, whether the Philharmonie will remain as popular as it seems to be today. New toys are often laid aside when the outer shine has stopped to be attractive. The building, at least, does not express anything remotely related to classical music, but looks like a star trek decor. How could it create the right mood for classical music for audiences if they are given the impression they will all soon be taking-off to Mars or Aldebaran?

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