Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle was known to the music world as principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2002 to 2018, after which he took over as conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. For the 2023/24 season, Rattle will move to Munich to succeed Mariss Jansons as leader of the Symphonieorchester und Chor des Bayrischen Rundfunks. He is also Principal Artist with the English Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, which is dedicated to historically informed performance practice, and founder of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Born in Liverpool in 1955, Rattle studied percussion and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He attracted attention early on, winning several conducting awards and, as a very young musician, was given the opportunity to lead performances at the famous opera festival in Glyndebourne, southern England. In 1980, Rattle's close association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra began, first as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, then as Music Director from 1990 to 1998. During this time, the orchestra rose to become a highly regarded international orchestra and made numerous excellent CD recordings under the direction of its principal conductor.

In 2002 he was appointed to Berliner Philharmoniker as Claudio Abbado's successor. Here Rattle set his own programmatic accents, for example with English and American composers of the 20th century, but also with the music of the Baroque, without neglecting the traditional repertoire core of the 19th century symphony. He also devoted himself with great dedication to the orchestra's youth work and established the education program Zukunft@BPhil. His extraordinarily fruitful collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker is documented extensively by numerous CD recordings, which have regularly received international awards and have recently been released on the orchestra's own label, as well as by a wealth of concert recordings in the orchestra's Digital Concert Hall. Even after his departure as principal conductor, Rattle will remain connected to the orchestra, which he will lead in three Berlin concerts during the 2022/23 season.

With the London Symphony Orchestra, Rattle is clearly picking up where he left off in Berlin. Here, too, he takes musical education and youth work very seriously and likes to include modern classics as well as works by contemporary English composers in his programs. The orchestral label LSO Live has released several highly acclaimed recordings in recent years of works by Hector Berlioz, Claude Debussy, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Helen Grime, Leoš Janáček, Anton Bruckner and Ludwig van Beethoven, among others. In addition to his work with symphony orchestras, Rattle is also active in opera, and in recent years, for example, has regularly conducted performances at Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

As of August 2022

Sir Simon Rattle

© Oliver Helbig

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