Photo PR award for controversial concert hall

Photo PR award for controversial concert hall


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2019

Germany’s annual PR Picture Award has been awarded to ….

Hamburg’s new Elbhilharmonie.

Not sure what the image is supposed to signify. But since various singers have complained they can’t make themselves heard in  the hall, it looks like the place is now doing its best to vanish into thin air.

The photographer is Konstantin Beck.




  • John Borstlap says:

    It’s the top of Count Dracula’s castle.

    • Gustavo says:

      It’s Karajan’s Alpensinfonie.

    • Cassandra says:

      My first thought is closing scene from Das Rheingold, but for the thunder and lightning. Valhalla just before the Rainbow Bridge emerges.

      Breathtakingly beautiful.

      If this is real morning mist über der Elbe, they must have used an expensive drone.

  • Gustavo says:

    A good craftsman should never blame his tools.

  • Luka Peters says:

    Pfft, nothing “controversial” about this hall, Norman. Been to concerts there many times, and you can hear the singers that actually can sing cough cough not Kaufmann cough cough..

  • Sixtus says:

    I think it’s a great, Turner-like photo. Few concert halls of any acoustical quality ever find themselves in such photogenic meteorological conditions.

  • Peter says:

    What a stunning picture.

  • Rgiarola says:

    Pink floyd effect, perhaps. The sound is obscured by clouds. Lol

  • M. L. Liu says:

    I happen to have just attended two concerts at the Elbphilarmonie this past weekend. Seated three rows from the front of the stage — with the orchestra and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii seen in close up — the acoustic was perfect to me. The piano sound was crystal clear even at such close range, and the blast of the orchestra — even at full strength — did not hurt my ears.
    The building itself is not as grand as I expected, and I wish the design (such as the wide stairways) were more friendly to senior citizens. But a great concert hall overall.