(Munich) Britain’s Simon Rattle will leave the musical direction of the London Symphony Orchestra to take charge of the Bavarian Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) from the 2023-2024 season, Bavarian Broadcasting announced on Monday.
Britain’s most famous conductor opposing Brexit has signed a five-year contract with Munich-based BRSO. Since 2017 he has been at the helm of the prestigious London Orchestra (LSO), having previously conducted the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
The 65-year-old musician will succeed Latvian Mariss Jansons, who had led the Bavarian ensemble since 2003 and who died at the end of 2019 at the age of 76.
“It is an honor to succeed Mariss Jansons, and I look forward to leading these wonderful musicians in the years to come,” Sir Simon Rattle said in the Bavarian Broadcasting statement.
“With his passion, artistic versatility and engaging charisma, he will be an extremely worthy successor to Mariss Janons,” said Bavarian Broadcasting Director Ulrich Wilhelm.
The conductor, very attached to Europe, was among the signatories of an anti-Brexit letter sent in 2018 by representatives of the music industry to former Prime Minister Theresa May.
In an interview with AFP in 2020, he called the divorce with the European Union a “terrible mistake” that risked turning his country into a “cultural prison”.
Known in 1995 by the Queen, the British conductor made a name for himself at 25 when he propelled the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to an international level.
For 16 years he was then musical director of the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where he had as predecessors the legendary Claudio Abbado and Herbert von Karajan.
Mr. Rattle made an impression by directing the LSO on the film’s soundtrack Chariots of fire at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics with the help of a Mr. Bean.
He is married to the Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena with whom he has three children.
Simon Rattle had also deplored the slowness of the British government in building a new philharmonic hall promised for a long time.
If his project had been approved by the British authorities, it did not fail to cringe because of its cost (250 million pounds sterling, or $ 432 million) and questions about the usefulness of such a room in London.