In Germany, Rattle requires an English chorusmaster

In Germany, Rattle requires an English chorusmaster


norman lebrecht

January 16, 2021

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Sir Simon Rattle, who became a German citizen this week, prefers to work with an English chorusmaster. In Berlin, he had his former Birmingham partner, Simon Halsey.  At his new job with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, he will find Howard Arman in charge of the salaried singers. Arman, a graduate of Trinity College London, has spent the past 40 years in German-speaking companies, working in Halle, Leipzig, Salzburg and Lucerne. The Munich choir he took over in 2017 is top-notch….

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  • Axl says:

    He’s chorus work is amazing! It really hears in his choruses e.g. Mahler 2 with Rattle and Berlin Phil:

  • Gareth says:

    Aren’t Halsey and Arman simply very good at their jobs, Mr Lebrecht? No reason to link to nationality or Rattle’s “preferences”

  • Chuck says:

    Here here Gareth. Yet another ridiculous headline from Mr Lebrecht. ‘Requires’?

  • Fabio Luisi says:

    Howard Arman is a great chorus master and an excellent musician (and a good conductor as well). Working with him for many years in Leipzig with the wonderful MDR Choir (also a top-notch Choir) has been a great pleasure and a privilege. Good luck in Munich. A great team indeed.

  • Dave says:

    It was always my impression that Rattle “required” Halsey as his chorus director, which seemed to suit the latter’s apparent quest for global choral domination (often sending in deps to do the donkey work then turning up on the day to take the bow). Perhaps Arman should watch his back – or maybe he’ll get to do the real work.

  • Nafarepo says:

    Indeed, they both happen to very good at they do. And they both happen to be linked to England. A country that is shrinking but happens to have a proud choral tradition. Didn’t Birmingham used to have more choirs per capita than practically any other city in our planet?

  • Edgar says:

    Top destination: Munich. Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian Radio Symphony, and Munich Philharmonic. (And, who knows, soon a Prime Minister who packs his bags to succeed Angela Merkel in Berlin – but that’s another story).

    Tu, felix Bavaria….

  • Elizabeth Lloyd-Davies says:

    Perhaps Simon is going to feature The Coronation Anthems composed for the Hanovarian Kings of England….Britten’s War Requiem……,and Mendelsohn’s Elijah written for Birmingham Town Hall ( in English of course ) just to emphasise the musicality of the Brits to the Bavarians.
    Is this Hubris ?