Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool in 1955. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. From 1974 to 1977, he was assistant conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Thereafter, he worked mainly with orchestras in Great Britain. In 1979, he debuted in the US with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; he subsequently served as the orchestra’s principal guest conductor from 1981 to 1994. In 1980, Rattle was appointed principal conductor and artistic advisor to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), and was the orchestra’s principal conductor from September 1980 to summer 1998. Besides the CBSO, Simon Rattle conducted the leading orchestras of the US and Europe. Since his first appearance at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1977 directing Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Simon Rattle has conducted opera on a regular basis. In the framework of the Salzburg Easter Festival, Simon Rattle has directed the Berliner Philharmoniker in stage productions of Beethoven’s Fidelio, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, and Mozart’s Idomeneo.
Even before taking up his post as Chief Conductor, Simon Rattle enjoyed a 15-year collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker. His concert programs cover a broad spectrum, ranging from Bach and Rameau to Classical figures such as Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms, to contemporaries like Adès, Berio, Boulez, Grisey, Gubaidulina, Lindberg, and Turnage. Simon Rattle’s programming attests to his uncommonly wide-ranging repertoire. Sir Simon Rattle, who was knighted in 1994 by the Queen of England, has received many distinctions in recognition of his artistic activities. In 1996, he was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg, and in 1997, he received the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. Since taking up his appointment as Artistic Director of the Philharmoniker in September 2002, he has broken new ground with the orchestra with the educational program Zukunft@Bphil. For his commitment, he was awarded the Comenius Prize in 2004, and he also received the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim in May 2005.
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