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Black Beauty: The Isarphilharmonie is a Beautiful and Versatile Space

Full of exciting possibilities, Munich’s newest concert venue is a fresh, black canvas that invites creatives to experiment.

On the stage crowded with musicians, a singing lady is in the spotlight
Copyright: Filmfoniker

“It was awesome!” “Thank you for the fantastic evening” – “still hyper!”

Sound bites such as these from the audience motivate the artists and the Gasteig’s events team alike. Right up to the start of the performance, no effort is too great to stage that unforgettable event. After all, Munich’s Isarphilharmonie strives to be a place of joy and happiness. And this auditorium, which was built in just one and a half years as an interim venue in Sendling, pushes all the right buttons.

A great view from every seat

With its symmetrical design, the hall puts everyone close to the action: no seat in the auditorium is further than 33 metres from the stage. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets for the choir balcony above the stage, you can even look over the performers’ shoulders. The entire space, such as the semicircular shape of the stage and the arrangement of the tiers, has been carefully designed to yield the best possible acoustics for all kinds of events. “If you have a good view, you can also hear well”, explains acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who designed the Isarphilharmonie’s acoustics. His credo applies to all music events – from classical to punk.

“People around the world should know that there is a great new hall in Munich.”

Star-Pianist Daniil Trifonov after his premiere on 18 October 2021 in the Isarphilharmonie
Star pianist Daniil Trifonov at the first concert in the Isarphilharmonie
Daniil Trifonov played the first concert in the Isarphilharmonie in 2021. Copyright: Robert Haas

Above all, the stage of the Isarphilharmonie is ideally suited for classical orchestral performances. Thanks to adjustable podiums, it can adjust to provide the space needed for monumental orchestras and smaller formations alike. Orchestras with and without choir, smaller ensembles and bands all get a stage of exactly the right size. As a temporary venue, the hall was built at lightning speed and, like a precious violin, is tucked away in a simple, functional box. The entire hall is suspended in a construction of steel girders that are strong enough to support up to 15 tonnes of additional suspended weight above the stage alone: ideal for large-scale stage productions with expansive set and lighting installations.

In order to distract as little as possible from the music, orchestra musicians often wear black. This is also the idea behind the choice of colour for the Isarphilharmonie’s interior. With the auditorium all dressed in dark colours – from the wooden walls to the seats and balustrades – the brightly lit stage shines out all the more intensely. As well as creating a cosy, comfortable and elegant atmosphere in the hall, the dark colour scheme has another advantage: the Isarphilharmonie is the perfect cinema!

“The Isarphilharmonie is also well suited for cinema formats – with or without orchestra. We have a huge screen and high-quality equipment that provides excellent surround sound. Because it can be completely shrouded in darkness, our large hall also provides the right ambience for movies.”

Nicolas Klein, responsible for event equipment at the Gasteig
Beautiful lighting and atmosphere at the concert of the Jazzrausch Bigband in the Isarphilharmonie
Grand piano in the Isarphilharmonie
View of the stage at the concert of the Jazzrausch Bigband at the Isarphilharmonie

Key statistics of the Isarphilharmonie

  • Acoustics: Yasuhisa Toyota, Nagata Acoustics
  • Size: height 24 m, volume 55,000 square metres
  • Sound: warm, clear & intimate
  • Capacity: up to 1956 visitors
  • Press: “The most beautiful darkroom in town” (Markus Thiel, Münchner Merkur)

Coming events in the Isarphilharmonie