Not only does English conductor Sir Simon Rattle have an extensive repertoire of composers including Beethoven, Wagner, Haydn, Mahler, Sibelius and more but he has championed contemporary music with recordings such as Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and performances of Schoenberg.
Sir Simon Rattle held a two-decade tenure at City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) during which he significantly raised the status of the orchestra, increasing audience attendance through his electric conducting style which was exemplary at communicating joy in his profession and therefore exciting those musicians for which he conducted.
Rattle, began his life with music at an early age studying piano and violin but choosing percussion as his instrumentation of choice when performing with orchestras. After entering the Royal Academy of Music in 1971 he switched focus to piano performance and picked up conducting, winning John Player International Conducting Competition upon graduation.
In 2002, Rattle was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic where he will complete his tenure at the end of 2017, moving on to become the Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Rattle’s most notable achievement at the Berlin Philharmonic will be transforming the orchestra into a self-governing body, allowing the musicians to provide for better pay and benefits. During this time he also completed recording the entire Beethoven Symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.
Sir Simon Rattle exclusively records with EMI having over 70 recordings featuring CBSO and more. Rattle was knighted in 1994 by the Queen of England and has been recipient of many more awards including those acknowledging him for his support of music education.
Photo: Sebastian Hänel
Sir Rattle’s professional conducting debut was made with the Nash Ensemble at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1975, beginning his long career of exemplary conducting for many famed orchestras in Europe and the United States. Other notable debuts include the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1986, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1987, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993.