In this month's magazine – out now – we take a look at what's ahead for Sir Simon as he returns to the UK as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra.


Here, to celebrate, we take a trip down memory lane to see all eight of the covers featuring the great maestro. Prepare for turtlenecks aplenty...

November 1993

‘You can feel an audience’s involvement, or lack of it, immediately. It’s like the difference between talking to people over the telephone or face to face, where you can see the reactions in their eyes.’ – Simon Rattle

October 1997

‘I think conductors only start to get competent at sixty, and then start growing. So there’s another twenty years or so!’ – Simon Rattle

September 1999

'Simon is one of that rare breed who can who can combine old and new, and convey it in a language people can understand.' – Brett Dean, composer and former Berlin Philharmonic viola player

April 2003

‘There is little that reflects the dark side of man as powerfully as the first movement of Beethoven’s Ninth. But the journey goes on from despair to hope – as it does in so many other Beethoven pieces…with all his struggles he was an optimist, and I really don’t think that’s a bad thing to be.’ – Simon Rattle

December 2005

‘As a performing artist you have to follow your path and do the best you can, knowing that next year you’ll do things differently. The greater the piece, the more likely you are to fail.’ – Simon Rattle

October 2009

‘Orchestras are extraordinary animals. They pass on something unspoken from musicians and conductors who died more than a generation back, without even noticing what they’re doing.’ – Simon Rattle

April 2013

‘There is a danger of staying somewhere too long, particularly in a city as wide as Berlin. Really, I have no idea where I’ll be heading, but the point is my decision frees us up on both sides to consider our options and maybe try a new direction.’ – Simon Rattle

More like this

September 2017

What's next for Simon Rattle? Find out in our September issue, on sale now...

Read more:

• Simon Rattle on the ​BBC Music Magazine cover


• 3 reasons why you should be excited about Rattle's return