March 03, 2015

Simon Rattle appointed Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra

The revered Berlin Philharmonic maestro takes up his next great post at the helm of the LSO from 2017.

The London Symphony Orchestra confirmed this morning that Sir Simon Rattle has accepted the post of Music Director from 2017. The orchestra's previous principal conductors include André Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Colin Davis and Valery Gergiev.

The Liverpool-born Rattle has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2002, with whom he has recorded dozens of albums including an acclaimed Brahms German Requiem, Holst's The Planets, Bruckner symphonies. His first appearance with the London Symphony Orchestra was in October 1977, at the age of 22. He conducted the LSO at the opening ceremony of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, memorably performing Chariots of Fire with Rowan Atkinson.

It was with another English orchestra, the City of Birmingham SO, that Simon Rattle first came to prominence; his Sibelius cylce with that orchestra was reissued this year.

“During my work with the LSO over the last years, I noticed that despite the Orchestra’s long and illustrious history, they almost never refer to it. Instead, refreshingly, they talk about the future, what can they make anew, what can they improve, how can they reach further into the community," said Rattle in a statement today. "In terms of musical excellence, it is clear that the sky's the limit, but equally important, in terms of philosophy, they constantly strive to be a twenty-first century orchestra. We share a dream in which performing, teaching and learning are indivisible, with wider dissemination of our art at its centre. I cannot imagine a better or more inspiring way to spend my next years, and feel immensely fortunate to have the LSO as my musical family and co-conspirators.”