Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. In 2002 he took up the position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker where he remained until the end of the 2017-18 season. Sir Simon took up the position of Music
Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017.Sir Simon has made over 70 recordings for EMI record label (now Warner Classics) and has received numerous prestigious
international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (which received a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance) Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninov’s The Bells and
Symphonic Dances, all recorded with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Simon’s most recent recordings include Berlioz’s Le damnation de Faust, Helen Grime’s Woven Space, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Turnage’s Remembering, which were all released by the London Symphony Orchestra’s own record label, LSO Live.
Between 2013–2018, Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker took up residency at Baden Baden Osterfestspiele, performing a variety of operatic and symphonic repertoire. Past seasons included Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Peter Sellars’s ritualization of Bach’s St. John Passion, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and most recently, Parsifal (2018). In the years prior, Rattle collaborated with the Salzburg Osterfestspiele where he conducted staged productions of Fidelio, Cosi fan tutte, Peter Grimes, Pelléas et Mélisande, Salome and Carmen, all with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also conducted Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Osterfestspiele and most recently at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Wiener Staatsoper. Other recent opera productions include Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Pelléas et Mélisande and Les Dialogues des Carmelites at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Hippolyte et Aricie, Aus einem Totenhaus, Káťa Kabanová and Le damnation de Faust for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and Manon Lescaut at the Deutsch Oper Berlin.
As well as fulfilling a taxing concert schedule in London, Sir Simon regularly tours within Europe, North America and Asia and has strong longstanding relationships with the world’s leading orchestras. Initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, Simon has also recently worked with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the
Metropolitan Opera. He regularly conducts the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Berlin and Wiener Philharmoniker, with which he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos with Alfred Brendel. Simon is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham
Contemporary Music Group.
The 2019-20 season will see Sir Simon embark upon tours to Hong Kong, China and Vietnam; the United States of America and Europe with the London Symphony Orchestra. He will also return to the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with a programme of Strauss, Schumann and Rameau, the Berliner Philharmoniker for Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge and will tour Europe and the US in a chamber music project with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená. This season’s operatic highlights include Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera, Wozzeck at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Idomeneo at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.
Sir Simon Rattle was knighted in 1994 and in the New Year’s Honours of 2014 he received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen.