Sir Simon Rattle
Sir Simon Rattle © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Born in Liverpool in 1955, Simon Rattle 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, shaping it into a top international ensemble. He joined the Berlin Philharmonic as Principal Conductor in 2002, gradually expanding its repertoire over his 16-year tenure, until 2018, by integrating new music and staged performances, as well as Baroque works and music-historical rarities. Many of these concerts have been recorded and won awards. His Berlin education program has also earned several distinctions, including the Comenius Award and the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim. Since 2017, Rattle has been Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra; in 2023, he will take over as Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also closely associated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, where he is Principal Artist, and makes guest appearances with the leading orchestras of Europe and the USA. Rattle made his debut as an opera conductor in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival. Further appearances have taken him to the Opéra national de Paris, the Royal Opera House in London, the National Opera in Amsterdam, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. At the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence this summer, he conducted Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. He also regularly collaborates with the Staatsoper Berlin, where he will launch a new production of Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair in the 2021-22 season. In 1994, Simon Rattle was raised to the peerage as Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II; he is a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and a Knight of the French Legion of Honor. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2013 and, in 2018, the Freedom of the City of London.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.