France Opens the Philharmonie de Paris, a New International Center for Music, 1/14

The Orchestre de Paris, Les Arts Florissants, the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, with star artists, Paavo Järvi, Hélène Grimaud and Renaud Capuçon, and special guest Lang Lang, will lead the celebrations for the opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, France's new international music centre.

The celebrations will begin with three Gala evenings, Wednesday 14 January, Thursday 15 January and Friday 16 January.

Open House weekend, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 January, will welcome the entire community for free concerts, workshops, street music, throughout the day and evening throughout the building, starting at 11 am on Saturday morning.

Designed by the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, the Philharmonie de Paris is set in 35 hectares Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement of Paris and will provide a permanent home for the Orchestre de Paris and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and three associate ensembles, Les Arts Florissants, the Orchestre de chambre de Paris and the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France.

The new building will complete the vision for a world-class centre for music with unrivalled facilities for classical, popular and contemporary music in this key area of Paris, with an extended campus that also includes Philharmonie 2 (formerly La Cité de la Musique), with a 1,000 seat concert hall a 250 seat Amphiteatre, Mediatheque and the Museum of Music.

The building, over six floors, covers a ground area of 23,000 sq metres, more than 90,000 sq metres total surface, and features:

•A fully flexible 'Grande Salle' with a capacity of 2,400 seats, combining innovative acoustics, architecture and flexible stage design to create a totally immersive experience of music.

•Fifteen rehearsal rooms ranging in capacity from a full orchestra down to studios for individual practice or chamber ensembles.

• 2,000 sq metres education centre opening into the park with 15 workshops spaces, a fully equipped recording studio and spaces for lectures.

•800 sq metres exhibition space for temporary exhibitions relating to the music programme.

• 200 seat conference hall for symposia, seminars, small concerts and screenings, and education project and rehearsals that are open to the public.

•A panoramic restaurant on the top floor with spectacular views over Paris, park level café and bars.

•Spacious terraces and foyers for the best visitor experience throughout the building.

The Philharmonie de Paris will benefit from strong international ties with the world's leading orchestras as special guests. These include the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Gewandhausorcherster Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Simon Bolivar Symphonic Orchestra of Venezuela and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, all of which are performing in the opening season.

Laurent Bayle, President of the Philharmonie de Paris, said: "With the opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, we will realise a dream to revolutionise the experience of music and make it part of the lives of everyone, most particularly for young people. We will use every means to reach this new generation, with open house all day long to music-making of all kinds and at all levels, and unprecedented access to the live experience of music through digital media, all within one world-class campus, making the Philharmonie the largest music centre in the world."

For links to the full programme for the opening season go to:

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