London puts on 10-day welcome Rattle fest

London puts on 10-day welcome Rattle fest


norman lebrecht

January 17, 2017

From the LSO’s season announcement this morning:

– Sir Simon Rattle’s inaugural season launched with ten-day musical celebration

– Young people and new audiences at the heart of future plans – new ticket schemes announced

– Stockhausen masterpiece to be staged at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

– 2017/18 season highlights announced

– British composers a major focus 

– LSO digital partnerships bring the orchestra to the world

The London Symphony Orchestra today unveiled the first stage of ambitious plans for the future under its new Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle, who will take up his post in September 2017.  The plans will unfold over the next three years, developed by Simon Rattle in close partnership with the musicians of the Orchestra, and in collaboration with the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, as Artist in Association.

In his words:

“The London Symphony Orchestra, over a century, has an extraordinary heritage and history. At its core is an orchestra that is always looking forwards, accepting no limitations on what it can achieve. The programme we are announcing today gives a glimmer of things to come. Together we intend to explore the great masterpieces, build our community, and inspire a new generation to join us in the belief that music is for everybody.”

Plans announced today include:

A ten-day celebration to mark Sir Simon Rattle’s first season as Music Director running from 14 – 24 September 2017
Amongst the highlights of the celebration, staged in collaboration with the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School, will be an all-British line-up of composers for the opening concert including a new commission to rising star Helen Grime; a London/Paris link up to celebrate Stravinsky in partnership with the Philharmonie de Paris; a ‘Silent Symphony’ live broadcast of the opening concert to personal headsets in the Barbican Sculpture Court; the creation of an opera in a day with children and young people; and a chance for the public to get behind-the-scenes as Sir Simon Rattle prepares the orchestra for a performance of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust. The BBC will broadcast live throughout the 10 days including three symphonic concerts in the Barbican Hall and four chamber concerts from LSO St Luke’s. The final concert will be streamed live on the LSO’s YouTube Channel and on Classic FM’s website.

Young people and new audiences are at the heart of the plans for the future
In a new scheme announced today, all tickets for under-18s at LSO Barbican concerts will be £5. 2017 also sees the launch of a new initiative to reach audiences: early evening concerts which will be conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Simon Rattle and François-Xavier Roth, will offer an hour of world-class orchestral music at the end of the working day. The acclaimed LSO Discovery programme already reaching 60,000 people a year will continue its development and growth. Announced today is a new three-year programme, supported by Youth Music, to increase substantially the provision of musical opportunities for young people in east London with special educational needs and disabilities, working in partnership with nine Music Education Hubs and specialist arts organisations.

New staging of Stockhausen at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall
Looking beyond the next season, in 2018, Sir Simon Rattle will direct a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s masterpiece, Gruppen (1955-57) in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. Scored for 120 musicians divided into three orchestras, this work, more than a concert, an event that envelops and surrounds the audience, is regarded as a landmark in 20th century music.


  • MWnyc says:

    I wonder if they could do the Helicopter Quartet with drones …

    • John Borstlap says:

      That piece does not rattle enough. Also it is quite expensive: ca. 20,000.– pounds per helicopter per concert (hiring them, training staff, rehearsels in flying position, high insurances, long correction sessions for the wrongly played notes, electronic transfer, babysitters for the players’ children etc. etc.)

  • John Borstlap says:

    “….. an all-British line-up of composers for the opening concert including a new commission to rising star Helen Grime”…. Will David Matthews be performed? If the orchestra really wants to give a striking presentation including new British music, they should think of the very youthful ‘grand old man’ of British music. Ms Grime, a ‘rising star’? of what? I find her music nice sound, but quite average and conventional, the usual obligatory bubbling of decorative process music fragments which merely exist in the world for their own sake:

    THIS is music on quite another level:

  • Saxon Broken says:

    The Barbican programme includes no symphony by Beethoven, Mendelssohn or Bruckner. Schumann is only in because Gardiner is giving a couple of concerts. (And all the major orchestras seem to have stopped playing any symphony by Haydn or Mozart). It seems quite an odd programme.

    And is Harding being pushed out (he only has one concert despite being associate conductor).

    • John Borstlap says:

      Haydn and Mozart are not exciting enough.

    • DM says:

      From recollection, the orchestra has done a fair amount of Bruckner in recent years with Haitink and Harding, and Mendelssohn with Gardiner. Perhaps they want a break?! And why *should* the programme include Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Schumann, Haydn and Mozart (if I’ve understood your post correctly)?