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Sir Simon Rattle has been serving as the new Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra since the start of the 2017-18 season. He inaugurated his tenure with a ten-day festival (“This Is Rattle”) and Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust as the main work; in the 2018-19 season he will devote himself to scores including Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Rattle, who was born in 1955 in Liverpool, studied piano, percussion, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began his close collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he led as Music Director from 1990 to 1998, building it into a top international ensemble. In 2002 he became Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he gradually expanded during his 16-year era by integrating contemporary music and also Baroque works and musical historical rarities. Many of these concerts were recorded live and have garnered awards. He bid farewell as head of the Philharmonic in June 2018 with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, with which he had made his debut with the Berliners in 1987. Since 1992 Sir Simon has also been closely associated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently its Principal Artist; he has additionally conducted the leading orchestras of Europe and the U.S. He made his debut as an opera conductor in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival. Additional engagements have taken him to the Opéra national de Paris, the Royal Opera, Dutch National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He recently performed Wagner’s Parsifal at the 2018 Baden-Baden Easter Festival. Simon Rattle was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994; he holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor. In 2013 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.