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Fascinated by Hamburg

Interview with Valentin Priebus

Good coffee in the Grindel district, rehearsal with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra or a delicious dinner at the cult restaurant "Vienna" in Eimsbüttel – Valentin Priebus gives insights into his favorite spots in the city and tells us about his personal way of living in Hamburg. 


All roads lead to Hamburg. Tell us about yours!

"I found my way to Hamburg through the audition at the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. After I missed the first chance, I was allowed to play as temporary staff now and then and so I was able to get to know the city, that had been a blind spot to me before.  Only a few months later the second audition luckily worked out - at that moment the city had already cast a spell over me."

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What's the general atmosphere of the city like?

"It’s surprisingly Mediterranean, a little cosmopolitan but without the urban anonymity or size that usually stresses people out."

Describe the city in one sentence.

"With good weather, almost every city seems beautiful. But Hamburg has this unique welcoming atmosphere – a feeling that comes up when the train is crossing the Elbe bridges, or at the green open spaces like the Alsterpark or Stadtpark and also when spending long warm nights at the Elbe beach."

What does Hamburg have that other cities don’t have?

"Here in Hamburg, Hockey is called national sport and not a niche sport."

Do you have a secret spot in Hamburg that you wanna share with us?

"My balcony. Invitations required though."

Do you have a favorite spot at the waterfront?

"Every spot, where I can enjoy the sun set, so rather the eastern shore."

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Ironic whiner or secret sunshine – what's the typical local like?

"Friendly, but a little reserved. In Hamburg people usually keep their cards close to their chest."

Which alleged touristic tip is being totally underestimated?

"Planten un Blomen. This park is perfect for strolling around and forgetting about ordinary things. Apart from that there is no better place to observe the diverse vegetation in the change of seasons.  Last year, I've seen the water lights for the first time."

If you’d have to leave the city for an indefinite period of time, what would you take with you to avoid getting homesick?

"A playlist including the song "Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins" by Hans Albers."

Elbe River or Alster? (And why?)

"Alster. It’s only a ten minutes’ walk from my house."

Is there any place or activity in Hamburg that you haven’t seen/done yet but that you’ve always wanted to see/do?

"The television tower because it’s just around the corner from where I live, but closed for several years."

Is there a popular person in Hamburg with whom you’ve always wanted to have a "Fischbrötchen"?

"With Johannes Brahms."

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You and Hamburg – a love story. Which song would make your soundtrack?

"The first movement of the second symphony of Brahms."

Where do you go first when you have friends visiting from other places? And why?

"I would take them on a walk in my neighbourhood and to the Außenalster. This way, my friends would get the best impression of my everyday life and why it feels like home to me."

Do you already live in your favorite street?

"Yes! Yet I’m not so sure if the apartment will still be suitable in 10 years."

Are you also interested in living in another neighborhood of Hamburg?

"Definitely! One of the most impressing insights was that even after years of living in the same space one would always discover new attractive places of the city."

Is your workplace different from the place where you live?

"Yes, very much. And that is a huge enrichment. Through the rehearsals and the concerts at Elbphilharmonie I’m spending a lot of my time at the Elbe now."

Hamburg is perfect – almost perfect. What would you change in Hamburg, if you could? 

"It doesn’t have to be the highlands but at least a little hill at the end of the horizon would be cool! The "Hamburger Mountains" that you can see from the 12th floor of the Elbphilharmonie, are doing their best, but still, it’s not enough!"

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