»A fireworks of things beautiful!«
Gasteig managing director Max Wagner reveals why the »inauguration« is being celebrated for six months and what highlights everyone can already look forward to.
Max, what is the significance of 8 October for you?
The inauguration is an important milestone that we have been working towards for a long time. For me, it is also a crucial part of the overall process: we are now moving to Sendling so that the Gasteig in Haidhausen can be renovated. I believe that when we witness the first concert of the Munich Philharmonic – hopefully with a large audience – in the Isarphilharmonie on 8 October, we will all breathe a sigh of relief. The first important step has been taken and we can celebrate together with the audience.
How will the inauguration of Gasteig HP8 be celebrated?
Moving Europe’s largest cultural centre is not an easy task and doesn’t happen overnight. The opening of the Isarphilharmonie, Hall E and Hall X on 8 October marks the beginning of a fireworks of things beautiful that will last until March 2022. Over a period of six months, we will showcase the Gasteig’s diversity in the form of an »inauguration relay«. Each resident institute in the Gasteig will assume »ownership« for one month, with the remaining ones participating and providing their contributions.
What’s already on the programme for the six-month long opening season?
The Munich Philharmonic, for example, is planning a surprise or two and exciting new formats throughout the site in addition to its concerts in the Isarphilharmonie. The library will hold a wide range of events with a focus on literature and music – a programme that offers something for everyone. And we are already looking forward to finding out how to best implement our ever-popular day of music »Der Gasteig brummt« at Gasteig HP8 in December. Last but not least, with »Im Rausch der Isar« and a workshop on the topic of culture and health, the first two projects of the Gasteig institutes’ cooperative cultural education programme will be launched. I am particularly looking forward to these premieres.
Can you already reveal a few inauguration highlights for 2022?
The symphony orchestra of the University of Music and Performing Arts (HMTM) will perform a concert together with the university’s Madrigal Choir in the Isarphilharmonie and present further portrait concerts of its institutes in the new Hall X. The Munich Chamber Orchestra (MKO) will perform a programme of Beethoven and Andriessen together with the Jazzrausch Bigband. Together with the Münchner Volkshochschule adult education centre (MVHS), there will be a photo exhibition on the creation of the Gasteig HP8. The Volkshochschule will furthermore present its study areas with free introductory offers under the motto »Jump in!« and is planning many other interdisciplinary activities. At Gasteig HP8, we want to place more focus on projects that reflect the unique mix of cultural offerings at the Gasteig. The »inauguration relay« is symbolic of this intensified collaboration between the Gasteig’s institutes.
What are you most looking forward to?
At Gasteig HP8, one of Munich’s most beautiful items of industrial heritage, the listed Hall E, is being opened to the public for the first time. You can do and experience things there like in a marketplace. While an event is taking place downstairs, there will be people in the Open Library upstairs. We have the great opportunity of revitalising this fantastic industrial monument. What this interaction will be like, what new formats will emerge, what people will come up with there – never completed, always open-ended – I’m looking forward to finding out!
Will the Gasteig also try something completely new at the new location?
That is exactly our motto: we want to try out many things! We don’t just want to arrive there in the neighbourhood like a UFO; we want to become part of it and enter into a dialogue with the people already there. The Sendling site is particularly suitable for this, as it is already an established centre of creativity that would never have been conceived of artificially. No one would plan a tyre dealer right next to the philharmonic hall. But that’s exactly how it is here, and it is exactly this unique mixture that will provide great impulses and lead us to explore new avenues.
What will Gasteig HP8 do to get as many people as possible interested in culture?
We want to reach people of all ages and we can only do that together. The topic closest to my heart and vital especially in these times is the collaborative cultural mediation involving all institutes. Our aim is to do innovative projects and dealing with people at eye level in addition to the already existing great programmes the institutes offer. If each Gasteig institute contributes its expertise here, it will be enriching for everyone. At Gasteig HP8, cultural education will have a space all of its own where the institutes can put projects into practice together. Because the site offers so many possibilities, we can forever develop new formats and rethink arts and culture.
To conclude, we’ll let you beat the drum again. What can visitors to Gasteig HP8 already look forward to?
You can look forward to an urban flair, right next to the combined power station and the Flaucher park. You can look forward to a philharmonic hall unlike any other in the world, with its mystical character, its focussed dark space and bright stage. You can look forward to the Open Library, to continuous access to books. Something completely new is taking shape in this evolved creative space that will be continuously buzzing with life. You can look forward to the diverse and concentrated offerings of an adult education centre, which will be located in Building K on the banks of the Stadtbach, and we look forward to the students of the University of Music enlivening the spaces of the Gasteig HP8. Every time I am on the construction site, I feel that this is going to be a very special place. The city will discover it and be thrilled, of that I’m sure!
Interview: Andrea Plücke
Photos: GMG/Andrea Plücke, Florian Ganslmeier
Visualisation: gmp Architects