The new, and controversial symphony hall had its grand opening in Paris on the day this photo was taken, January 14. La Philharmonie de Paris is disputed not only because of the rather unusual and ostentatious architecture but because at almost 400,000,000€, it cost 3X the original estimate and has taken two years longer to construct than expected. As you can see, even now, it is not entirely finished. The Orchestre de Paris has been at home in La Salle Pleyel since the late 19th century, a rather classic building in the very heart of the city. This new venue is located in the northeastern corner of Paris within walking distance of Emily's house, considered positively remote by many Parisian orchestra patrons. The project has had its vociferous critics.
The opening, despite the fact that the building is really far from complete, was a triumphant success. One journalist suggested that the acoustics in the hall are among the best in the world. François Hollande attended and spoke at the premiere, The coincidence of the opening of this new cultural center and the terrorist attacks was not lost on the audience. The new center will attempt to be more inclusive in offering cultural resources to people living at the fringes of Paris. It has an ambitious outreach program. All the French journalists I heard discussing the opening were very positive. Paris needs some good news, and the concert last Wednesday evening was an exciting occasion. And the day, as the photo reveals, was glorious.