Just in: Simon Rattle adds two new City jobs

Just in: Simon Rattle adds two new City jobs


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2015

Press release, just in:


Today it is announced that Sir Simon Rattle will take on the role of Artist-in-Association with the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This announcement coincides with Sir Simon’s appearances with the LSO at the Barbican Centre this week, which further highlight his commitment and involvement with young people’s music-making, and this new role will be undertaken alongside his appointment as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra from the 2017/18 season.

The appointment drives forward his desire to bring performance, orchestral practice, artistic creation, learning and discovery together in a single vision for the future.

Sir Simon Rattle said “This is a once-in a lifetime opportunity to join up every element of our work. I am thrilled to become involved with this pioneering collaboration between a world-class orchestra, arts centre and conservatoire at the heart of one of the world’s great cultural cities. It gives us the chance to develop a unique offer of inspiring music for a new generation”.

As Artist-in-Association with the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School, alongside his music directorship of the LSO, Rattle will become involved in exploring cross-arts collaborations and special projects across the LSO, Barbican, and the Guildhall School.

Initiatives include:

  • a series of commissions by the Barbican for Rattle and the LSO when he becomes Music Director
  • an annual series of semi-staged operas mounted jointly by the LSO and the Barbican, launched with Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in January 2016
  • a regular series of orchestral ‘side-by-side projects’ by the LSO and the Guildhall School, launched with this week’s performance of Walton’s First Symphony
  • championing the development of new Guildhall School postgraduate courses  in conducting and choral training
  • supporting the role of singing with LSO Choral Director Simon Halsey

Sir Nicholas Kenyon said “It is a natural extension of all Sir Simon’s aspirations for his relationship with the LSO that this should include the creative organisations who are at the heart of the City of London’s developing cultural hub. We look forward to creating some memorable events with him in the years ahead as we bring the power of music and the arts to new audiences”.

Professor Barry Ife, Principal, Guildhall School said, “We are very excited to have someone of Sir Simon’s stature involved with inspiring our students and working with us to develop groundbreaking new courses. It’s the latest marker of our unique and growing partnership with the LSO and Barbican, which has brought many invaluable opportunities to Guildhall students and will continue to do so.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, said “We are delighted that Sir Simon’s role with the LSO will extend to include major collaborations with our partners in the Guildhall School and the Barbican Centre, building on recent initiatives.  As the concept of a cultural hub in the City of London develops, it is important that we are working together to realise extraordinary projects that develop future generations of musicians and music-lovers.”

rattle Berlin Philharmonic Prom 64_CR_BBC Chris Christodoulou_3

photo (c) Chris Christodoulou/LebrechtMusic&Arts


  • Peter says:

    What an absolute disgrace. He shouldn’t need titles (and money?) to do this. The whole point of the Guildhall and LSO and Barbican in essentially one space was to relate to each other as much as possible. Rattle should be spending every spare moment helping and working with students next door in his role as chief conductor of the LSO. It’s a given. So sad to see people have been conned into the necessity of such appointments. The City of London especially, funding these institutions, should be asking what’s going on.

  • Mahlerfan says:

    Any more news on the new concert hall?

  • Jonathan Dunsby says:

    The grand titles are not the point – surely SIr Simon will not be putting them on a business card ! The great thing is the formal linkup with the Guildhall School. I don’t think Gergiev has done much there.

    Fantastic news.

  • Douglas Quigg says:

    I’m delighted this man is going to be in London. Sir Simon’s musicianship is electrifying and he’ll do fantastic job. It is right to make his role(s) official and it will help power the City’s music to the top of the ladder.

  • John Borstlap says:

    No doubt Sir Rattle will be more at home in London than in Berlin. He is an able, but superficial conductor with conventional ideas about music.