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Sir Simon Rattle has been serving as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2017. Born in 1955 in Liverpool, he studied piano, percussion, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began a close collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he helmed 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 tenure, which ended in 2018, by integrating contemporary music and staged performances as well as Baroque works and rarities from music history. Many of these concerts were released as live CD recordings and have garnered awards. His education program in Berlin has also won acclaim, including the Comenius Award and the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim. 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, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Dutch National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. He regularly collaborates with the Staatsoper Berlin, where he recently conducted Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (2018); he will lead Mozart’s Idomeneo there in the 2019-20 season and will also conduct Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. 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. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2013 and the Freedom of the City of London in 2018.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.