EUYO: Sir Simon Rattle speaks out

EUYO: Sir Simon Rattle speaks out


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2016

The outgoing Berlin Philharmonic chief calls the EU decision to defund the EUYO ‘an embarrassment’ and expresses the hope ‘someone will change it quickly’.

He describes the decision as ‘one ignorant signature’.

Losing the EUYO, he adds, would be ‘an unnecessary loss’.

It’s not the strongest of statements, but Rattle has been active behind the scenes rallying German government support for reversing the Brussels dictat to defund the EUYO.

Watch his statement here (in English).

rattle screen grab


  • Frederick West says:

    Interesting screen shot – ‘principle’ conductor? Maybe so. Good to see auntie is maintaining its high standards….

    • Alexander Hall says:

      Like the “hospital chaplin” I saw on one caption. Everybody needs a Charlie, I suppose.

  • David Nice says:

    Can only repeat what I posted elsewhere – this is worth defending, but why could Rattle not have supported ENO in its hour of need? Did it have anything to do with the millions that may be spent on the new concert hall, less important than saving the essence of a national opera company IMO? And what’s already been spent on the feasibility study could have helped ENO out of its immediate difficulties?

    • Milka says:

      Rattle is about Rattle and nothing else.He makes appropriate comments when there
      is nothing to be lost.

      • Greg from SF says:

        I’m in total agreement. Rattle is a self-made “conductor” risen from the percussion section who has no discernable expressive individuality whatsoever – he is no better or worse that dozens of conducting students graduating from conservatories all over the world every year. His great success (to me, unfathomable) is merely a product of the British musical press and (the late) EMI publicity department.
        The Brits will, of course, go crazy for him once he lands up with the LSO. You all can have him.

        • David Nice says:

          This is not about whether Rattle is a good or great conductor, but whether he’s a Mensch or not. From his lack of response re ENO, I’d say not.

  • Bennie says:

    In U.S., the non-professional orchestras get little funding, if any at all. People just donate their services while the local churches allow free use of their promises.

    In fact, in Philadelphia area, many members of the Philadelphia Orchestra play-in some of those local ensembles for no fee. No ticket fee to the performances neither – just voluntary donation at the door (a few dollars or so).

    Perhaps this model is something that EUYO may need to ponder on. It’s unfortunate that the funding is cut in such an absurd way, but EUYO would survive if it adopts accordingly.

    • David Nice says:

      Depends how you define it, but this is not a ‘non-professional’ orchestra. On top form, as with Petrenko at the 2015 Proms, it’s one of the best in the world playing in the world’s top concert halls, and needs to be funded accordingly.