Czech Philharmonic names Sir Simon Rattle as Principal Guest
Monday, February 12, 2024
London’s loss is Prague’s gain as Czech Philharmonic announces appointment of new Principal Guest Conductor
Five years after his debut with the orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle has signed a five-year contract to become a principal guest conductor with the Czech Philharmonic. One of three titled conductors, Sir Simon will join chief conductor and director of music, Semyon Bychkov and principal guest conductor Jakub Hrůša.
Bychkov said of the new appointment, ‘I am enormously pleased that Simon has agreed to become a part of the Czech Philharmonic family and will regularly bring to Prague his talent and vitality’.
Rattle first found acclaim in his partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, before spending 16 years with the Berlin Philharmonic, and then six as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, a post he stepped down from last year. He has made over 70 recordings for Warner Classics and won numerous awards for his work, including many Gramophone Awards, including the Recording of the Year accolade for a recording of Mahler's Symphony No 10 which he made with the Berlin Philharmonic. In addition to his critically acclaimed performances and collaborations with the world’s finest ensembles, Rattle has also cemented himself as a pioneer for classical music education. In partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic, he established ‘Zukunft@Bphil’, a successful educational programme designed to bring the music of the Berlin Philharmonic to the widest possible community. The conductor explained ‘music is not luxury at all, but a basic need and shall be a vital and essential part of everyone’s life.’ He also assisted in the creation of the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO East London Academy, an organisation that aims to develop young musicians free of charge in order to increase diversity within classical music.
Rattle describes his relationship with the Czech Philharmonic fondly, saying ‘It was many years before I conducted that orchestra for the first time. And when that finally happened in 2019, it seemed terribly natural to me, as if I had had been standing before it since time immemorial. I fell in love…’