Sir Simon Rattle Celebrates Debut as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra

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Sir Simon Rattle Celebrates Debut as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra

The curtain is raised on Thursday 14 September on Sir Simon Rattle's debut as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra [LSO], launching This is Rattle, 11 days of special concerts, events and installations, running at the Barbican Centre, LSO St Luke's and the Guildhall School's Milton Court Concert Hall, until 24 September. He also becomes Artist-in-Association with the Barbican and the Guildhall School.

The opening concert in the Barbican Hall on 14 September, conducted by Simon Rattle, will feature an all-British programme, including the world premiere of Fanfare by Helen Grime, commissioned for the LSO by the Barbican, and culminating in a performance of Elgar's 'Enigma' Variations, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and across Europe on Mezzo TV. The LSO's concerts with Simon Rattle across the 11 days will be broadcast or streamed around London and the world, by BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Mezzo TV, Medici TV. The last concert on Sunday 24 September will be live streamed by the LSO on YouTube

A live HD broadcast of the opening concert will be beamed outdoors on to a big cinema screen in the Barbican's Sculpture Court, played onto personal headsets, 'silent disco' style, and audiences in the Centre will be heralded by choral fanfares performed by LSO Discovery Choirs.

On Sunday 24 September, Simon Rattle will conduct an orchestra consisting young musicians aged 11-18 from across East London, LSO players and musicians from the Guildhall School, all playing side-by-side on the Barbican stage, performing music from Elgar's Enigma Variations and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

The programme over eleven days features a rollcall of Britain's greatest living composers and introductions to the newest British talent. Music by Thomas Adès, Sir George Benjamin, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Patrick Brennan, Helen Grime, Oliver Knussen, and Colin Matthews, alongside performances of works by British masters, including Benjamin Britten and Edward Elgar. Evening concerts will see Simon Rattle conduct the LSO in Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust, and Stravinsky's three great Diaghilev ballets, including The Rite of Spring. The BBC Singers, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Britten Sinfonia, musicians from the Guildhall School, the London Symphony Chorus, and young musicians from across East London will all join the LSO in welcoming Simon Rattle with performances across the 11 days.

Throughout the celebrations, there will be free access to music for all ages featuring exceptional talent drawn from LSO Community and Youth Choirs, and young musicians from the Guildhall School, in the Barbican

Centre's expansive foyers and at LSO St Luke's. Two new digital artworks relating to Elgar's Enigma Variations will also feature, and the Barbican Music Library hosts a Simon Rattle Exhibition. BBC Radio 3 will be in residence at the Barbican throughout, hosting exhibitions and interactive workshops.

Sir Simon Rattle said: "It is a huge moment in my life to be able to return to the UK and work with the orchestra I love. 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."

For full details of the programme and how to book:

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