Rattle to leave LSO

Sir Simon Rattle is leaving the London Symphony orchestra to work in Germany, where his home now is.

Rattle, who will be 66 next week, became music director of the LSO in 2017 and spearheaded the campaign to build a new multi-million pound concert hall on the site of the Museum of London. He is to join the Munich-based Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra s chief conductor in 2023 in succession to Mariss Jansons who died in 2019.

He said his reasons were “entirely personal” and that the move would enable him to be closer to his wife and three younger children who live in Berlin.

When Rattle joined the LSO from the Berlin Philharmonic, which he had led for 15 years, he said it would be his last job and he was so closely associated with the campaign to get an “international standard” concert hall as part of the Barbican – where the LSO is based - that the project was widely known as “Rattle Hall”. He was expected to inaugurate the new hall when it opens, but the project has been delayed by planning and funding issues, and the postponement may have influenced Rattle’s decision to move on when the offer was made. Ironically, Munich does not have an internationally recognised concert venue either and Jansons had campaigned vigorously but unsuccessfully for one to be built.

Rattle is not severing all connection with the LSO having extended his five year contract by a year, and will take on the role of conductor emeritus. "I love the London Symphony Orchestra” he told the BBC. “I remain committed to the LSO, and we have plans for major projects in the coming years. I am thrilled that we will be making music together far into the future".


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