Berlin picks Dutchman to replace Simon

The other Simon – Simon Halsey – is leaving Berlin after a dozen years as artistic director of the radio chorus and (more recently) as head of the Berlin Philharmonic youth choral programme. He wants to spend more time with his family in England, where he chorus director of the LSO, as well as of the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (since 1983).

Berlin launched an international search. Today it has announced Simon’s successor.



He is Gijs Leenaars, 36, head of the Netherlands radio chorus.

No pressure, then.


halsey Gijs Leenaars

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  • “Chorus director of the LSO” – indeed, superbly so, for the last 3 years. But he’s also been directing the CBSO Chorus for 31 years, including 15 years under Rattle.

    There is a world beyond the Barbican, you know…

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