Stockholm Concert Hall is called an architectural masterpiece thanks to Ivar Tengbom’s winning project in the 1920 architectural design competition.
Since the neoclassicism building on Hötorget square was finished in 1926, it has been home to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, but also to the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. Today, over 200 concerts with orchestral and chamber music, jazz and world music take place in this blue music temple every year.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra – Photo credit: © Jan-Olav Wedin
Home of Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
The Concert Hall has been home to Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra since 1926. The orchestra was formed 1902 under the name Stockholm Concert Society and started playing at the Auditorium at Norra Bantorget. Today, 150 of Sweden’s most skilled musicians play in the orchestra, and during the years they’ve had Swedish, Czech, German, Russian, Hungarian, American and Finnish principal conductors. Besides performing during the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and Polar Music Prize, the orchestra also tours and records music.
The winning proposal that became a temple of music
When the Royal Philharmonic outgrew its old venue at Norra Bantorget, they collected money for a new building. In April of 1920, they announced an architectural design competition in the newspaper Arkitekten, where the contestants had to send in blueprints of the new concert hall. Ivar Tengbom had already received a special invite and began sketching together with Birger Jonson.
Their proposal was called The red heart because the big main concert hall is like the building’s heart, like an atrium in ancient Greece, framed with galleries and columns. The white ceiling was supposed to feel like eternal sunshine, and on the exterior, he chose an unusual blue color and a decorative row of columns. Between 34 proposals, the one by Ivar was finally chosen as the winner and after two years of building, Stockholm Concert Hall was officially opened on April 7, 1926.
Stockholm Concert Hall and the sculpture Orpheus Group by Carl Milles – Photo credit: © Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com
Today, this blue house of music is called one of Sweden’s architectural masterpieces. A neoclassicist temple that wasn’t inspired by Athens only in its form. The Concert Hall was given democratic public spaces, where different social classes shared the entrance, which differed from the separate ports of Royal Dramatic Theater or Royal Swedish Opera.
The Concert Hall isn’t only home to fantastic tunes, it also houses famous works of art such as Carl Milles’ sculpture Orpheus Group. Isaac Grünewald was given the assignment of decorating the Small Auditorium and he completed the task in only six months in 1925. The auditorium now carries his name, Grünewald Hall, and it’s decorated with his ceiling and wall decorations. Isaac was inspired by Italian Renaissance palaces and the motives are taken from Greek mythology.
Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and the Christmas concert
At the same time the concert hall was being built, the Nobel Foundation had planned to also build a Nobel House. The plan was never realized, and instead, the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony has been held at Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10 every year since 1926. The Polar Music Prize, The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and The August Prize have also been awarded here in recent years. And for all of us who haven’t been nominated for any of these prizes, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra has Christmas concerts, classical concerts, and concerts led by the best conductors in the world, concerts that anyone can buy a ticket to.
The Stockholm Concert Hall at Christmas – Photo credit: © Oleksii Kondratiev/Shutterstock.com
Reaching the Hall
Stockholm Concert Hall is located at Hötorget square, in the corner of streets Kungsgatan and Sveavägen. To reach the hall, take the green subway line and hop off at Hötorget (exit Konserthuset) or take a short walk from T-centralen.
We wish you a wonderful time, filled with amazing music, at the Stockholm Concert Hall!
Hötorget 8, Norrmalm
Featured image credit: Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com
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