​− Everyone is asking about our plans for a new concert hall

There is no doubt about which subject the Chief Executive of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ingrid Røynesdal, gets the most comments and questions about when she meets music-interested people from all over the world these days: plans for a new concert hall in Filipstad.

Written by Fred-Olav Vatne

In August this year, the news had reached the media's spotlight: The Oslo Philharmonic had, together with property developers Anders Buchardt and Petter Stordalen, developed a plan for building a new concert hall in Filipstad, in connection with a congress hotel on the adjacent plot. The idea is that the building will be financed, run and built by the developers, and that the Oslo Philharmonic will be the principal tenant.

− Will attract high-profile guests

The idea was met with enormous interest and great enthusiasm from many angles, and there were naturally also a few critical voices. Only a week after the news broke, Ingrid Røynesdal took part in the opening of the new concert hall in Malmø, one of the building projects she has been inspired by in her work on the Filiipstad plans.

− People I met during the opening in Malmø were very curious about the project, and they could share many positive experiences from the process they had been through, says Røynesdal.

Since then, she has experienced a steady stream of qustions, from different international players who view the plans in the context of building projects in their own countries, to acousticians who are curious about the design possibilities for the hall itself, and not least from musicians:

− I am in daily contact with conductors and soloists, and everyone asks about the concert hall plans. Every one of them is enthusiastic and agrees that a new concert hall will attract even more high-profile international guests.

− A growing number of people view our model as very relevant

New concert halls are a hot topic in several major European cities. Paris opened its Philharmonie in January 2015, London carries on a lively debate about where a new hall should be built, and in Munich plans for a new hall were recently unveiled. The Chief Executive has also received comments from within her own industry:

− There are many orchestras and cities in Europe who recognise the need for better and more well-adapted concert halls, and several of them view our model and our collaboration with private investors as well thought-out and relevant to their situation. They are interested in how we have managed to get the project going, which choices we have made underway, and why.

The process from here onwards will depend on political action and collaboration. For the moment you can read more about the project and reactions to the plans on Twitter or watch this video about the project: