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Pitch-perfect debut for concert house

The new Elbphilharmonie concert house opened on the right note in Hamburg, Germany, on Wednesday to the strains of Beethoven and Wagner. It has been touted as a new global attraction, albeit after a cost explosion, reported Agence France-Presse.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck joined 2,100 guests at the inaugural concert in the grand hall of the concert house (left), which has electrified critics with its audacious design and world-class acoustics. Billed as a cultural monument to rival the Sydney Opera House, the building came in more than six years overdue and at 10 times the initial budget, with a cost of €789 million (S$1.2 billion).

Dr Merkel said the opening had been historic as the dawn of a national landmark. "One day, we will all be very proud that something was built in our lifetime that people will still refer to in 50 or 100 years, saying: 'Look, that was what happened on Jan 11, 2017'."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Pitch-perfect debut for concert house'. Print Edition | Subscribe