Conductor Simon Rattle to stay with Berlin Philharmonic through 2018
The classical music world is known for planning concerts and events years in advance. But the Berlin Philharmonic takes the cake today with its announcement that it has secured Simon Rattle's tenure as head of the orchestra for another nine years.
The orchestra said Wednesday that Rattle has signed a contract to continue in his role as artistic director through 2018, according to a report in the Associated Press. The British conductor has led the Berlin Philharmonic since 2002.
Widely considered among the best orchestras in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic is scheduled to perform two concerts in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Nov. 23 and 24. Rattle will conduct the orchestra in a program that includes Wagner's Overture to "Der Meistersinger," Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1 and Brahms' Symphony No. 2.
A spokeswoman for the L.A. Philharmonic told Culture Monster this summer that the Berlin Philharmonic concerts were among the bestselling concerts of the season.
Rattle, 54, has strong ties with Los Angeles. From 1981 to 1994, he served as the principal guest conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic. He made his conducting debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1987 with Mahler's Sixth Symphony.
In 2003, Times music critic Mark Swed interviewed Rattle in New York ahead of a November appearance at Disney Hall. You can read the entire interview here.
-- David Ng
Photo: Sir Simon Rattle, conducting the Berlin Philarmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times