Sir Simon Rattle

CBSO Music Director 1980-1998

From 1980 to 1998, Rattle was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. Rattle oversaw many changes during his time at the CBSO, including the move to a new concert hall: Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. In 2002 he took up his current position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker where he will remain until 2018. From 2017/2018 season he will become Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

At the time of his appointment, Rattle was the UK’s youngest principal conductor and he combined youth, energy, ideas and exceptional talent. Under his baton, the CBSO rose to international acclaim as one of the world’s most exciting, versatile and innovative orchestras and the series of recordings and overseas tours - started during the 1960s and 1970s by Rignold and Frémaux - developed considerably. The Orchestra acquired a tremendous reputation with highly acclaimed concerts, extensive international touring schedules and a number of award-winning recordings and even television documentaries.

Simon Rattle has strong longstanding relationships with the leading orchestras in London, Europe and the USA; initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and more recently with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Vienna Philharmonic, with which he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos (with Alfred Brendel) and is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Simon Rattle was knighted in 1994 and in the New Year’s Honours of 2014 he received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen.

Former CBSO Music Directors