Simon Rattle Joins the London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002, will be joining the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra from September 2017.

The conductor, who was born in 1955 and rose to prominence during the 1980s and 1990s as the principal conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, announced back in 2013 that his contract with the internationally acclaimed Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra would not be extended past the 2018 season. On Tuesday, the London Symphony Orchestra made the announcement via the Orchestra’s website, in which they confirmed Sir Simon would take up a post as Musical Director from September 2017 – a post previously held by conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Colin Davies and André Previn.

Rattle’s appointment with the LSO comes just weeks after the conductor – widely recognised to be one of the best living conductors in the world – publicly criticised London’s concert venues for not being up-to-scratch and in line with international standards, previously describing the Barbican Centre’s concert hall, in which the LSO are based, “serviceable”. Despite this, Rattle confirmed that George Osborne’s feasibility study for a new concert venue in London, commissioned by the chancellor just weeks before the appointment was not a prerequisite for accepting a post with the orchestra.

This won’t be the first time that Sir Simon has worked with the LSO, having first appeared on stage with them aged just 22 in 1977, and recently leading the orchestra for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, as well as two critically acclaimed concerts at the LSO’s residency in the Barbican Centre earlier this year.

Rattle will continue to work with the Berlin Philharmonic until the end of his contract in the 2017/18 season before taking up his position with the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017.


This post was originally published on 05.03.2016 as a blogpost for ‘The Instrumental Hours’, a radio show Brunel University’s student radio station Radio Brunel and can be viewed here.