Simon Rattle Named Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra for 2017

By Jaime Prisco on Mar 04, 2015 01:34 PM EST

After months of speculation, it has been announced that Sir Simon Rattle has been appointed the new music director of the London Symphony Orchestra starting in 2017.

There has been talks of Rattle returning the U.K. after his tenure with the Berliner Philharmoniker ends. He will be replacing Valery Gergiev, who will be leaving to join the Munich Philharmonic.

“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,” said Rattle in a press release. “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 has always had a clear outline for his vision as a music director. He aims for universal access to music, especially for children and young people. He believes all musicians should be engaged in composing, improvising, mentoring and performing and hopes his new position will help to generate partnerships between London and the country, solidifying the U.K. as a world leader in the arts.

Rattle made his first appearance with the LSO in 1977 at 22. He conducted the LSO at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, memorably performing Chariots of Fire with Rowan Atkinson. In January, he was acclaimed for his two concerts with the LSO of Schumann, Stravinsky, Webern, Berg and Ligeti.

“This is the realization of a dream, to bring Simon Rattle back to his home country to lead the extraordinary musicians of the LSO. We look forward to a new chapter of ambitious music-making that reaches deep into the communities we serve and touches people’s lives with the power of music,” said Kathryn McDowell, managing director of the LSO.

Rattle has been the chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2002 and his contract ends in 2018. The philharmonic announced it will be naming a new artistic director this coming May.

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TagsSimon Rattle, music director, London Symphony Orchestra, 2017, Berlin Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev

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