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France: Music for all

The interior of the new Paris Philharmonie concert hall in Paris
The interior of the new Paris Philharmonie concert hall in Paris AFP/Getty Images

Paris’ The new concert hall, the Philharmonie de Paris, rises like a flight of doves, its sprawling waves of concrete and steel designed by the star architect Jean Nouvel to symbolize the end of the “eternal ostracism” of the struggling neighborhoods nearby. After seven years and long delays, the $455 million hall — clad in 340,000 interlocking gray, cream, pearl and ivory cast-aluminum birds on the wing — finally opened this month. The hall is on the edge of the Parc de la Villette, in the 19th Arrondissement in northeast Paris, just inside the ring road that symbolizes the divide between the wealthy center of Paris and the working-class and poor suburbs outside of it. The challenge is to still attract aging concertgoers from the center, where most of the city’s established cultural institutions are, while also reaching new generations in the suburbs, or banlieues, long scorned by the City of Light.

New York Times

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