Paris Philharmonie attracts a different audience

Paris Philharmonie attracts a different audience


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2018

First audience survey of the new hall shows:

– The average audience age is now 47.9
– 52% of audience members live outside Paris
– 30% are first-timers
– the general satisfaction rate is 97%

These stats could not be matched by London’s South Bank and Barbican.


  • Brian says:

    Félicitations and all that, but they could work on their customer service a little more. When I go, it’s about 600 km each way, several times a year. You look forward to something special, only to find someone, either hired by the Philharmonie or on their staff, distracting you by running around taking photographs of already much-photographed artists during the music.

    You inform them via e-mail and get no response whatsoever. That’s poor PR.

    Also, their ushers move about a bit too much for my liking during concerts.

    But: great hall (I mean inside, not the foyers, which look like the money suddenly ran out!), superb acoustics, excellent programme. For instance, US orchestras usually perform both their tour programmes there on two consecutive days, as will be the case with the Boston Symphony this coming weekend. Only Vienna and Lucerne can compete with something like that.

    • Anon says:

      Not only Vienna and Lucerne. Salzburg has visitng orchestras performing on consecutive days. At the Proms this year the Boston SO and Berlin PO performed 4 concerts in 3 days.

      • Brian says:

        Salzburg and the Proms are festivals (as, admittedly, is Lucerne). I suppose I was referring more to year-round programming. Does Salzburg have a year-round string of world-class orchestras visiting?

        Also, the quality of the halls in Paris, Vienna and Lucerne would be considered by most to be superior to Salzburg’s or the Royal Albert Hall.

  • anon says:

    The Philharmonie gives away a lot of tickets (at cut rate prices) to high schoolers when it can’t fill the hall for the evening.

    (Unless there are legions of texting-while-listening teens occupying entire rows that are 50€ more expensive than my row who are lifelong fans of Schoenberg and Boulez.)

    Good to generate interest among the young, not so good for repaying the public debt.

    • Brian says:

      The Philharmonie “gives away” tickets for the price of 10 € to anyone who is fast enough. Great idea for those who love classical music and don’t have much cash to spare. I’m glad they kept that policy in place when Salle Pleyel closed.

    • Adrienne says:

      “The Philharmonie gives away a lot of tickets (at cut rate prices) to high schoolers when it can’t fill the hall for the evening.”

      In that case, an average (mean?) audience age of 47.9 doesn’t tell us very much.

  • John Kelly says:

    Was there just last week for a superb programme given by Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle. All Debussy. Wonderful Faun with circular breathing! Mr Barenboim warmly applauded his own orchestra and with justification.

    The sound in the hall is really very good indeed. I was in some very nice (and comfortable seats) so in a good position to hear the soundscape. Very good blend of sound and realistic bass response with a nice reverb which I would guess to be about 1.5 seconds. It’s a similar experience to Disney Hall in LA and I would say a bit better for orchestral listening than Philadelphia, but not as good as Boston which is IMO the best.

    Around the auditorium there’s plenty of room for everyone and many bars and so on. It can be reached on the Metro about 15 stops out from the center of Paris. A bit like going on the tube from London to say Wimbledon in terms of distance from the middle of the city. Or perhaps going from Manhattan to eastern Queens or the Bronx.

    Well worth the trip and with acoustics this good I believe Paris has one of the finest modern halls I have experienced.