From classical music to electro festivals, from music history to a thriving live music scene and vibrant nightlife… Hamburg’s got it all! Indeed, Europe’s first civic opera opened here in 1678, and the city’s own sons Brahms and Telemann are undoubtedly grand masters of classical music and form part of our musical heritage. The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is also a cultural symbol in its own right and is known well beyond our beloved city. It’s safe to say that Hamburg is the gateway to the world as far as music is concerned – it was in St. Pauli in the 1960s that the Beatles cast the first stone in their global career. Moreover, at countless festivals in and around Hamburg, unique venues and diverse sounds merge to create a musical experience like no other. Hamburg is the epitome of live music. Something for everyone can be found every day in the countless clubs and bars surrounding the Reeperbahn, in musical theatre, our concert halls or even in the open air.
Hamburg without music? Unthinkable! There must be something in the air between the Alster and Elbe rivers that inspires performers, whose affection for our beautiful city has been evident in numerous compositions, albums and songs over the years. Indeed, it was composer Georg Philipp Telemann who created the “Alster Overture” in the 18th century and the Beatles are known to have stated that they didn’t do their growing up in Liverpool, rather in Hamburg. What’s more, in the 1990s the Hamburg School was the counterpart to the growing American indie music scene and German artists such as Die Beginner, Deichkind and Samy Deluxe have shown that hip-hop could also become popular in northern Germany. Despite the fact that the areas around the Reeperbahn and the Schanzenviertel are undoubtedly familiar to most music lovers, other districts in the north and south of the city are also great places to catch some excellent live music.
If unamplified music is more your thing, you’ll certainly find something to your liking among Hamburg’s wealth of classical ensembles and orchestras. Founded in the mid-19th century, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra is the oldest ensemble in the city and, in the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the famous concert hall on the river Elbe has its own orchestra. With its neo-baroque architecture, the Laeiszhalle in the city centre is one of the most beautiful venues for a classical concert imaginable, already having hosted performances by Igor Stravinsky and Maria Callas. The venue was donated to Hamburg by local shipowner Carl Heinrich Laeisz and is, therefore, the perfect embodiment of our beloved city’s widespread patronage of classical music.
As much as we love our clubs and concert halls here in Hamburg, there’s also no stopping us venturing out to enjoy music in the open air at festivals such as the MS Dockville in Wilhelmsburg and at ELBJAZZ that takes place around the harbour. A number of bands and, of course, many more loyal fans always come to the Stadtpark OpenAir in “Hamburg’s green living room” and, each year in May, it’s not just maritime music that fills the air during the Hafengeburtstag (Harbour Birthday) celebrations… the variety of stages play host to music for almost every taste. Finally, the Reeperbahn Festival combines the festival feeling of being outside, meeting friends and listening to music with the atmosphere of a small club where it’s possible to get up close and personal with the performers.
Free travel by bus, train & harbour ferries,
up to 50% discount on over 150 activities,
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Free travel everywhere by bus, train & harbour ferries
Up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist attractions
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