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Behind the scenes: From the initial plan to the event

A sense of expectation infuses the auditorium. A last look around the hall before the spots come on and the performers enter. Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes before the first notes sound across hall? We’ll show you.

Sol Gabetta enters the stage of the Isarphilharmonie. The audience in the hall is already waiting.
Sol Gabetta just before the concert: A quick last peek into the auditorium. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig

Without the commitment of the Gasteig’s 160 employees, there would be no performances. They deal with everything from the first contact with organisers to switching off the lights and locking the doors after the event. Planning a major concert can take up to four years. In all, the 50-strong event management team manages more than 1800 events a year. They are supported by the communication team, which advertises and announces the events through various channels.

A team for all formats

While project managers oversee the projects, stage technicians prepare the venue. Their ambitious goal is to realise all the wishes and expectations of both the concert management agency and the artists – from complex stage, lighting and sound set-ups to the backstage catering. This involves checking and calculating resources, drawing up plans and checklists, meeting fire protection requirements, coordinating with others and always remaining polite and diplomatic.

 

And then the day arrives: The stage is set, the artists arrive, the performance draws near. We have captured the intense phases before and after a concert for you in pictures. On 31 October 2021, the internationally celebrated string players Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta took to the stage at the Isarphilharmonie …

Seating plan of the Isarphilharmonie
2 PM: Precise planning is essential: the project team must consider everything down to the smallest detail: How many wheelchair users will there be, and where can their companions sit? All seats are re-checked against the tickets sold. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Conversion of the Isarphilharmonie with additional rows of seats
1:45 PM: Preparations at the Isarphilharmonie begin. Moved by invisible hydraulic hands, parts of the stage disappear into the floor, creating space for more than 100 extra chairs in the auditorium. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Sol Gabetta rehearsing at the Isarphilharmonie
5 PM: Trading places – Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta come on stage for the soundcheck. The two string players are enjoying their work; evidently, the sound is just right. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Gasteig technician as light double on the stage of the Isarphilharmonie
4 PM: Air cello – before the artists arrive for the sound rehearsal, stage technician Hans-Peter Rodan acts as the performer’s double. The lighting is set up to provide both musicians and audience with the best possible view. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Ticket control at the entrance of the Isarphilharmonie
7:15 PM: Your turn: The doors open and the audience streams in. Sixteen VD Mayr Service staff help visitors find their seats. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta at television recordings
6:30 PM: The KlickKlack Klassikmagazin camera crew of TV station BR will film today’s rehearsal and concert. For the project management, this poses the additional challenge of creating space for cameras and microphones in the auditorium and adjusting the lighting. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
View from backstage: Sol Gabetta enters the stage of the Isarphilharmonie
The performers take their places on stage. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Sol Gabetta enters the stage of the Isarphilharmonie. The audience in the hall is already waiting.
Sol Gabetta just before the concert: A quick last peek into the auditorium. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta in the backstage area of the Isarphilharmonie
8:15 PM: Intermission: a short breather for the artists. Perhaps a quick chocolate bar from the backstage vending machine? Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
View from the lighting control room into the Isarphilharmonie
8:10 PM: High above the action, seated behind banks of sliders and monitors, Alexander Cappek is in charge of the lighting. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta in the backstage area of the Isarphilharmonie
9:30 PM: The final applause before the hall releases the audience into the Sendling night. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Sol Gabetta with Alexander Mikhaylov, project manager at the organizer MünchenMusik
8:25 PM: The backstage monitors provide a view of the auditorium. Sol enjoys a chat with Alexander Mikhaylov, project manager at tonight’s concert organisers MünchenMusik. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta with flowers on stage of the Isarphilharmonie
9:35 PM: Happy with tonight’s grandiose performance, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta leave the stage. Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig
Andreas Schessl, Managing Director of MünchenMusik, in an exchange with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta
After a successful evening’s work, Andreas Schessl, managing director of MünchenMusik, who often hold concerts in the Gasteig, chats with the stars. A wonderful evening was had by all! Copyright: Benedikt Feiten/Gasteig

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