Rattle to conduct the Czechs

Rattle to conduct the Czechs


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2020

Unable to perform with the locked-down London Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle was in Munich last week conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and in Prague this weekend with his wife and the Czech Phil.

Final concert from the series Helping with the Czech Philharmonic wants to emphasize the importance of regular blood donation. Czech Philharmonic and Czech Student Philharmonic will be led by conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Slavonic Dances by Dvořák are on, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená will sing songs by Mahler and Berio.

At the close of his Munich interview Rattle said: ‘I look forward to being ever closer in every way….’




  • Londoner in Name Only says:

    Funny how close he feels to London by living in Germany and performing in the Czech Republic. He’s an absentee music director and will likely leave the LSO sooner rather than later.

    • singerjohn says:

      Why does the fact that Rattle resides in Berlin make him an absentee music director? The same could be said – equally unfairly – of many other MDs who don’t reside in the city where their orchestra is based. And as for conducting a concert in the Czech Republic, have you never heard of guest conducting engagements?

  • Olassus says:

    So it’s Rattle to succeed Jansons.

    No surprise.

    I’m not a huge fan of his, but a Jahreszeiten four years ago had wonderful colors and radiance, with Marlis Petersen. He’s terrific with Haydn.

  • MacroV says:

    I’ve been hoping to see Sir Simon develop a relationship with the Czech Philharmonic. Not only because he lives just up the road in Berlin (and has a Czech wife), but they seem like the kind of group whose culture and approach to music-making he would love. And it was a big event when he made his debut there a year ago March. I don’t suppose they’ll stream it?

  • John Rook says:

    They must have got their Czech book out to get him. I’ll get me coat…

  • buxtehude says:

    As a complete non-expert, just poking around on the internet, the Czech Phil has seemed to me the most exciting orchestra in the world, at least since I discovered Martinu. Can’t blame any conductor who wants to lead them.

    • MacroV says:

      From three years in Prague, I can tell you there’s hardly a more interesting orchestra out there or a more enjoyable concert experience. They play a much more imaginative range of repertoire than you’ll hear from them on tour – where it’s mostly Dvorak’s greatest hits, thanks to risk-averse promoters. At home they do a good amount of Martinu and Janacek, in which they are without peer. But also excellent Mahler and Richard Strauss, and I particularly enjoyed hearing them play Turangalila a couple years back. And I love the atmosphere, with the Prague intelligentsia out in force. Music just sounds better there.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    I can’t think of an orchestra with more “mystique” than this one.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen….

  • fflambeau says:

    Prague is a beautiful, cultural city. It is not a step down. As I recall, the people of that city were more welcoming of Mozart than the Austrians.

    • MacroV says:

      It is hard to beat a Friday night at the Rudolfinum with the Czech Philharmonic, afterward crossing the bridge (alas, not Karluv Most) over the Vltava while looking up at Prague Castle while heading to the Malostranska metro station.

  • Edgar Self says:

    He still has the Rattle-Battle-Ax trio and dirctorship of the YoYo-JaJa-Nono ensemble.