Sir Simon Rattle has been announced as the new music director of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Currently chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle will begin his new role with the LSO in September 2017, replacing Valery Gergiev. As music director, Rattle will be heavily involved in all elements of the orchestra’s work, including in advocating music education across the UK.
Speaking of his new role, Rattle says, ‘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.’
He continues: ‘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.’
Rattle made his opera debut in 1977 conducting at Glyndebourne Festival and has held posts at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic among others. He has conducted the LSO many times before, including at the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Managing director of the LSO, Kathryn McDowell, says, ‘This is the realisation of a dream, to bring Simon Rattle back to his home country to lead the extraordinary musicians of the LSO.’
Chairman Lennox Mackenzie adds, ‘I am thrilled that Sir Simon Rattle has accepted our invitation to lead the Orchestra into the future. On behalf of the whole Orchestra, we welcome him as our music director at this hugely important moment in the LSO’s history.’