In Friday’s (12/12) Guardian (London), Gillian Moore, head of classical music at London’s Southbank Centre, writes about France’s state-of-the-art new concert hall, Philharmonie de Paris, set to open in January. “Built on the boundary between the capital’s banlieues and its affluent boulevards … the Philharmonie is a huge, organic structure rising up in the Parc de la Villette…. It is the … manifestation of the energy and willpower of Pierre Boulez, composer, conductor and the godfather of music in France.… The neighbouring Cité de la Musique … with 900 seats … was too small for big symphony orchestras…. The new building must fulfill a social as well as a musical function… On one side [of the périphérique is] the ancient centre of Paris, home to cultural institutions and wealthy urbanites; on the other, the banlieues, the edgier, poorer, multicultural suburbs French politicians are trying to bridge this divide…. Classical will dominate, with the Orchestre de Paris and Ensemble InterContemporain in residence, and it will provide a Paris venue for visiting European orchestras such as the LSO, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as the New York Philharmonic, the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela or the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.”

Posted December 15, 2014