In pics: Kate tries her hand at conducting
The Duchess is in Germany on day five of the royal ‘Brexit tour’.
The Duchess of Cambridge tried her hand at conducting a prestigious symphony orchestra during a visit to Hamburg’s new concert hall.
On the last day of the Cambridges’ tour of Germany, Kate, who comes from a musical family and played the flute throughout her school days, took a conductor’s baton and directed the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
The musicians followed her commands for several seconds as they played the first four notes of Beethoven’s famous fifth symphony.
She and husband William had joined 250 schoolchildren taking part in a session designed to introduce them to musical instruments at the Elbphilharmonie, the city’s new landmark concert hall.
The royal couple sat in an auditorium listening to a performance of the symphony especially adapted for young people and then went up on stage to learn more about how to play the instruments.
Kate, 35, lent forward and pointed the baton straight at the orchestra, after watching children being coached how to do it and get the best out of the musicians.
Earlier, she and William walked around the stage accompanying six children trying out different instruments, including a violin, flute, timpani and trombone.
William, who told reggae star and former Aswad frontman Brinsley Forde “I’m a bit good on the bass guitar” when presenting him with an MBE two years ago, avoided having a go.
But Kate showed she was willing to try just about anything.
Compere Juri Tetzslaff asked her if she played any instruments and she told him the flute.
“How long did you play the flute?” he asked, and she replied: “Throughout my school years until the age of 18.”
William, 35, did at least join in with his wife and the children in shaking their raised fists in unison in time to another part of the symphony.
The couple were greeted by several thousand people who had turned out to see them as they arrived at the new building in Hamburg’s dockside quarter.
Opened in January, the “Elphi” was built with the aim of creating a new city landmark. It is one of the biggest concert halls in the world and renowned for its advanced acoustics.
Standing on a balcony, they gazed out over the River Elbe and its docklands as artistic director Christoph Lieben-Seutter told them about the concert hall and the city.
Then they went for an impromptu walkabout to meet hundreds of fans inside the venue and then, as planned, met some of the estimated 3,000 people gathered outside.
Kate told one well-wisher, Linda Schroeder, 32: “It’s a fantastic building.”