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Tonhalle Concert Hall

By Paulina Sánchez |

Visit a planetarium-turned-concert hall and meet one of the greatest exponents of classical music in the world.


The lights in the auditorium are dimmed. A moment later, you get chills down your spine as you listen to the first notes of a classical music concert that begins with overwhelming magnificence. Right in the center of the stage, an elegant and attractive woman glides her fingers on a violin’s strings. Keeping her eyes closed, she executes a piece of music with such beautiful lyricism and passion that you feel exalted to a state of bliss. In your hands, the program announces the name of the interpreter in fine printing: Courtney Elise LeBauer, professional concert violinist.


Like her, only the most renowned musicians and composers have performed at exclusive German music halls like the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. This site was originally one of the first planetariums in the world –it was also the biggest– until it was repurposed, in the 1970s, into a semi-spherical concert hall with a domed roof that is ideal for acoustics. And so, this building that plays a host to more than 350 concerts per year and receives over 300,000 spectators in that same time, soon turned the city into one of the favorite destinations in Germany for people who love music.

In fact, in Düsseldorf, capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia, you can find an enigmatic coexistence between tradition and avant-garde owed to the fact that its past is closely linked to art history. For example, a little over 300 years ago the city changed considerably thanks to the patron Johann Wilhelm II who, together with his wife Anna Maria Luisa de Medici, helped the city thrive and turn into one of the main modern cultural centers in Europe. In later years, it became home to the Academy of Fine Arts (1773) and it was also in Düsseldorf where the famous classical composer, Robert Schumann, was appointed Municipal Music Director and composed his Rhenish Symphony.

Nowadays, the city harbors the National Arts Academy (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf) where painter Paul Klee, whose father was a music teacher, taught several classes. Also, “every autumn we celebrate the Düsseldorf Festival with world class musicians and dancers as well as the Schumannfest in spring”, says the violinist.

Nevertheless, the main attraction in the city is the Tonhalle. “It possesses a magical atmosphere that is reminiscent of the time in which it was a planetarium,” Courtney points out. And referring to the opportunity she had to perform there when she participated in a project of Fiddler on the Roof in 2013 with an audience of 1,400 people, she adds: “There I was, standing on the spotlight, playing my violin under star-like lights. It was amazing.”


Remember that…

  • Königsallee Street harbors the most elite boutiques in Europe.
  • The city was a pioneer in electronic and experimental music.
  • In 2012 Düsseldorf ranked as the sixth city in the world with best quality of living.