The British conductor will join the LSO in September 2017


Sir Simon Rattle has been announced as the next music director of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). The 60-year-old will take up the post in September 2017, succeeding Valery Gergiev, who will stand down as the orchestra’s principal conductor at the end of this year.

He will become the 16th principal conductor in the LSO’s history, with previous incumbents including Edward Elgar, Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Colin Davis. As music director he will be involved in every aspect of the LSO’s work, including its music education programmes. ‘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,’ he said. ‘Instead, refreshingly, they talk about the future, what can they make anew, what can they improve, how can they reach further into the community.’

Rattle, who first appeared with the orchestra in October 1977, said that the new role would be his last job. ‘At the moment this is a normal five-year term with a rolling possibility,’ he added. ‘We will look on each other as a family and will see where it goes. It is on all our minds that it is a long-term thing.’

The announcement brings to an end speculation over Rattle’s future plans. He announced in January 2013 that he would not be renewing his contract with the Berlin Philharmonic, and would be leaving after the 2017–18 season.

Sir Simon Rattle talks about the strings of the Berlin Philharmonic and their characteristic sound in the April issue of The Strad, on sale on 23 March. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial. To purchase single issues click here.

Photo: Monika Rittershaus