The Cité de la Musique (City of Music) is a group of institutions dedicated to music and situated in the La Villette quarter, 19th arrondissement of Paris. This centre consists of an amphitheatre; a concert hall for an audience of 800-1,000; a museum of music; exhibition halls, workshops and archives.
The Museum of Music (Musée de la Musique) contains an important collection of classical music instruments dating mainly from the 15th to 20th century. They were gathered by the Conservatoire de Paris. The collection includes instruments used in classical as well as popular music. The items are exhibited by period and by type. Museum provides audio devices at the entrance allowing visitors to hear commentary and excerpts of music played on the instruments. The Paris Philharmonic (Philharmonie de Paris), a 2400-seat symphony hall, had been planned for about 20 years and is now scheduled for completion in the next two years.
Cité de la Musique was designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc and opened in mid-1990s as part of President François Mitterrand’s Grands Projets. The aim of this project was to provide modern look for Paris. Looking at Cite, one thing that needs to be said is, “it works”. And the place is accessible for disabled visitors.
Grand Projets was a large-scale undertaking, so the results were expected to make a huge impression. The Cité de la Musique completely reinvented La Villette – the former slaughterhouse district. Yet, because of its unusual design, Mitterrand almost backed out of the project. The Philharmonie de Paris was announced to be built by architect Jean Nouvel. The concert hall will hold the audience around the stage, following the model pioneered by the Berlin Philharmonie.
The history of this place isn’t very long. So if you’re a talented musician or get a feeling that you have something crucial to do in the field of music, you’ll probably become a part of Cité’s history.