Festival marks Rattle’s arrival

Simon Rattle will launch his stint as music director of London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) this September with an 11-day festival. Titled ‘This is Rattle’ the special concert series includes his LSO debut at Barbican Hall on 14 September.

“It is a huge moment in my life to be able to return to the UK and work with the orchestra I love,” said Rattle. “My ambition is to open up the electrifying experience of music and share my passion for music making with as many people as possible, whatever their age or whatever their background.”

The opening concert features a world premiere of Helen Grime’s Fanfare as well as Thomas Adès’ Asyla, Harrison Birtwistle’s Violin Concerto, Oliver Knussen’s Symphony No 3 and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Rattle and the LSO are joined by German violinist Christian Tetzlaff.

Then on 17 and 19 September Rattle leads LSO and London Symphony Chorus in Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, followed by an evening of Stravinsky ballets (The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring) on 21 and 24 September. The Stravinsky programme will also be performed at Philharmonie de Paris on 22 September.

The opening concert will be broadcast live on a big screen at the Barbican’s Sculpture Court. All of the remaining LSO concerts featuring Rattle will be broadcast or streamed by BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Mezzo TV and Medici TV. The final concert on Sunday 24 September will be live streamed on YouTube.

In addition to Rattle’s concerts there will also be four concerts programmed by British composers: Oliver Knussen (16 September), Thomas Adès (18 September), Helen Grimes (20 September) and Harrison Birtwistle (23 September).

Meanwhile the Barbican hosts two This Is Rattle exhibitions. The Barbican Library will display a collection of photos and memorabilia relating to the conductor’s career, while the Foyer features Interlock: Friends Pictured Within, a visual media installation created by artist Jonathan Munro and musician Anna Meredith that responds to the Enigma Variations.