January 2, 2013
* Requiem at (not for) a construction site: Hamburg's amazing Herzog & de Meuron Elbphilharmonie (Philharmonic Hall on the Elbe River) is still incomplete, years and millions of euros beyond its planned opening. Still, hardy North Germans rallied on the site for a community performance of Ein Deutsches Requiem during the holidays.
Originally budgeted at 77 million euros, for completion in 2010, the hall is costing well over a half a billion euros and opening is hoped for in 2017 (by which time my bags will have been packed for a decade). A Deutsche Welle interview at the end of 2012 hinted at the possible final cost of 2 billion euros, probably in exasperation. The positive side: look at the Sydney Opera's similar agony in becoming a reality, but see its significance once done Hamburg may well end up with something similar.
* Preparations have been going on all month long for the upcoming Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival, to be held in Green Music Center's Weill Hall, beginning at 3 p.m. on Jan. 20. BAYOF Hope, previously given in Davies Symphony Hall, will bring 400 young musicians from throughout the Bay Area to perform on one stage. Concert proceeds will go to the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). Participating are Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, Oakland Youth Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Young People's Symphony Orchestra of Berkeley.