Destination Guides

2017: A Year in Culture

A comprehensive calendar for the year’s unmissable events

2017: A Year in Culture
Hamburg's new Elbphilharmonie (Photo: Maxim Schulz)


11 JANUARY: Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie’s two inaugural concerts debut, marking the start of a three-week festival at the much-anticipated, newly-opened concert hall in Germany’s second largest city.


19 - 21 JANUARY: Artcurial’s three-day event in Monaco featuring vintage collector watches, Art Deco jewellery from the Place Vendome’s most important names and its Hermès winter collection with a focus on the brand’s iconic handbags.


9 FEBRUARY - 29 MAY: The freshly transformed Tate Modern in London welcomes one of the most comprehensive exhibits by British artist David Hockney. Tracing the artist’s artwork from beginning to present, the exhibit features everything from his portraits and images of Los Angeles swimming pools to his most recent works.

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972, © David Hockney (Photo: Art Gallery of New South Wales/Jenni Carter)


28 FEBRUARY - 8 MARCH: As part of its 90th anniversary celebrations, the NHK Symphony Orchestra visits 7 cities and six countries in its European concert tour. It is the first overseas tour for the orchestras’s chief conductor, Paavo Järvi, and features the renowned Dutch violinist, Janine Jansen (in all cities, except London). 


SPRING: Tucked away in Florence’s windy streets within an ancient palace, perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi opens the Museum and Academy of Perfume, giving visitors an opportunity to delve into the world of perfume and learn about the process through courses, seminars and events.

Lorenzo Villoresi boutique


1 MAY: Every year the Met Gala in New York kicks off a much-anticipated fashion exhibit at the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; but, this year, it is only the second time in the Gala’s history that a living designer will be the sole subject of the exhibit. In 1983, Yves Saint Laurent was in the spotlight. In 2017 it’s Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, for what promises to be one of the most avant-garde displays to date.


13 MAY - 26 NOVEMBER: For her first time curating the Venice Biennale, Director Christine Macel chose “Vive Arte Viva” to be the title of the upcoming fete. She explains that “in a world full of conflicts and jolts, in which humanism is being seriously jeopardised, art is the most precious part of the human being.”


26 MAY - 17 JUNE: After its biggest year yet in 2016 with 2.3 million visitors, the world’s largest festival of light — Vivid Sydney — returns in 2017 with its large-scale light installations and projections, music performances and creative discussions. 


 2 - 10 JUNE: In a celebration marking 70 years, the Royal Ballet in London tops off its festivities with a mixed programme of six performances by its founder, choreographer Frederick Ashton. 


23 JUNE - 27 AUGUST: Five operas, one concert and a gala night is the only way to celebrate the 95th edition of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival. Opening with a new production of Nabucco and closing with Tosca, the festival is surely one not to miss.

Arena di Verona


23 SEPTEMBER: A first in the contemporary art world, the Seitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Seitz MOCAA) opens in a beautiful waterfront location in Cape Town. Established in 2013 in the transformed heritage Silo building, its mission is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Photo: Heatherwick Studio)


OCTOBER: A tribute to the late French designer, Studio KO’s Yves Saint Laurent Museum opens in Morocco –  a 4,000 square metre space next to the Jardin Majorelle, where Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered.

Studio KO Fondation, Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent Museum


ALSO NEXT YEAR: The eagerly awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi is set to open in 2017 on Saadiyat Island after nearly a decade of planning and construction. With recent announcements of commissioned works by American artist Jenny Holzer and Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone, the opening is drawing tantalisingly close.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi (© Client_TDIC, Architect_ Ateliers Jean Nouvel)

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