Breaking: Rattle has Covid, cancels the LSO

Breaking: Rattle has Covid, cancels the LSO


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2021

The London Symphony Orchestra has lost its music director for the month.

Its statement reads as follows:

Friday 3 December 2021 11.00 GMT

A Message from Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle has tested positive for COVID-19 and unfortunately is unable to fulfil his engagements with the LSO this month.

He is currently isolating at home, with mild symptoms. We send him our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Rattle will be replaced in the next three concerts by Bournemouth’s Kirill Karabits.




  • Wiener says:

    Please folks, really, get your shots ! Now and not tomorrow…

    • Nik says:

      I don’t disagree with you, but there is no suggestion that Sir Simon hasn’t had his shots. A mild bout of covid is not uncommon among the vaccinated.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        It is becoming increasingly apparent that vaccinations for Covid-19 are a rolling feast, with intervals deceasing instead of increasing. It’s purely a temporary stop-gap measure at the moment and far from a panacea.

        Scientists will be working to improve this, I’m sure.

      • The Thinker says:

        You just don’t get it, do you? The virus will NOT go away unless everyone is vaccinated. Yes, the symptoms might be mild but the virus will not disappear as long as the unvaccinated are spreading it. Uneducated and uninformed… such a shame.

      • BRUCEB says:

        You might be aware that Ken posts this comment, or something like it, on every COVID-related post. Also, he did not imply that Sir Simon hadn’t been vaccinated.

    • Roman says:

      I am quite sure that he has shots, given the number of travels his career requires.

  • Richard Cheese says:

    Wow, mild symptoms! My condolences to Sir Simon and his family.

  • Mark Cogley says:

    It’s safe to assume he is vaccinated, but why don’t they say so?

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Apparently he did actually conduct in Munich a few days ago, with the concert being called off, reinstated, cancelled then given to a 25% of house capacity audience. Was it the philharmonic maybe? I assume all and sundry on stage were tested and all were negative.

  • Rob says:

    My piano tested positive for Omicron; having said that it’s always been abit highly strung.

  • Gustavo says:

    Nevertheless, a speedy recovery!

  • Tamino says:

    another positive PCR test that means not much…

  • Munich resident says:

    Wondering if this has anything to do with the last minute canceled St. Matthews Passion in Munich and Vienna some days ago with the Bavarian Radio Ensembles. Then they proceeded with Mahler 9…

  • Tamino says:

    People have lost the plot.
    He has not tested positive for Covid-19.
    Covid-19 is a disease. A disease is not diagnosed with a PCR Test. It is diagnosed by actual symptoms, and where those are ambiguous, confirmed by a PCR test.
    The PCR test finds a fraction of Virus RNA.
    He has tested positive for that.
    He might be completely unaffected by it.

    • Tamino says:

      Hilarious how people can push dislike buttons on something that is 100% fact. Sign of our stupid times.

    • Hornbill says:

      The article quotes the MD of the LSO: “Sir Simon Rattle has tested positive for COVID-19”. Do you know better than she does about his condition? Are you saying she has lost the plot? Or that because his symptoms are mild he does not have the disease? Or that he can’t pass the virus on to other people? Or that he is wrong to self isolate?

  • Greg says:

    The vast majority of folks in the U.S. have been vaccinated, and many have had the third booster shot. And it appearing more likely that the dreaded Omicron variant is less virulent than previous versions. I suspect we are going to be hearing more and more about people “resting at home with mild symptoms.” Final phase of the pandemic?

    • NYMike says:

      Here in NYC, 90%. The rest of the country, 60% – not a vast majority. There’s still a lot of MAGA anti-vaxxers to contend with……

  • pjl says:

    I would rather go to a Karabits concert; good choice by LSO!