The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and BR Chorus have appointed Sir Simon Rattle as their next Chief Conductor. The five-year contract commences from the start of the 2023/24 season; he will be the sixth conductor to head the Munich-based orchestra.
Commenting on the announcement, Sir Simon said:
“It is an honour to succeed Mariss Jansons in this role and I look forward to leading these wonderful musicians for many years to come. Building on wonderful moments of music-making together over the last ten years, we will explore a wide range of wonderful music together and craft programs across many genres – both for our live-audiences and for viewers and listeners of the BR’s media channels. Our ambitions include the development of the orchestra’s creativity with period performance practice, as well as building closer connections with the Musica Viva series in the city. As part of my new role, I will advocate for the new Konzerthaus in Munich, offering all my support to the Bavarian State to make this project a reality.”
Ulrich Wilhelm, Intendant des Bayerischen Rundfunks, added:
“The Bayerischer Rundfunk is delighted that Sir Simon is coming to Munich as our next Chief Conductor. With his passion, artistic versatility and winning charisma, he will be a most worthy successor to Mariss Jansons. Our Chorus and the Symphonieorchester look forward enormously to developing the artistic concept for the new concert hall in Munich’s Werksviertel Mitte together with Sir Simon, who is peerless in his advocacy for bringing the joy of music to people in new ways. I see this appointment as an important and forward-looking signal, particularly in a time in which the arts have faced unimagined challenges as a result of the ongoing pandemic.”
Sir Simon made his debut with the BRSO and BR Chorus in 2010 Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri. Joint projects have since included the Wagner Das Rheingold and Die Walküre as well as Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde – acclaimed performances that were subsequently released on the BR-Klassik label. In March 2021 he will conduct two programmes with the BRSO, including the world premiere of a work by Ondřej Adámek; Georg Friedrich Haas‘s monumental composition in vain, and works by Purcell, Haydn, Brahms, Stravinsky and Messiaen.
Previously Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon is currently Music Director the London Symphony Orchestra. The LSO also announced this morning that, following an extension of his contract through to the end of the 2022/23 season, Sir Simon will become Conductor Emeritus for life – a position held by André Previn until his death in 2019.
Thanking the LSO players and management, Sir Simon said:
“I am delighted that I will continue in my role as Music Director of the Orchestra for another three years, extending my contract until 2023, and that I will be able to remain closely associated with the orchestra into the future. I remain committed to the LSO, and we have plans for major projects in the coming years. I am thrilled that we will be making music together far into the future.”