When Sir Simon Rattle met John Suchet: a Classic FM interview special

Sir Simon Rattle has been confirmed as the next music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. But he has conducted them before. In October 2012, following Rattle's performance with the LSO - and Mr Bean - at the London Olympics opening ceremony, John Suchet went to chat to the Berlin Philharmonic's brilliant conductor.

Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic since September 2002, one of the most popular, acclaimed and well-respected orchestras in the world, attracting some of the finest soloists and conductors for well over 100 years.

John Suchet flew to Germany for an exclusive interview with Sir Simon Rattle. In the interview, Sir Simon chatted to John about what it was like to work with Rowan Atkinson at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, how he managed to introduce the Berlin Philharmonic to the music of English composers like Holst and Britten, and what his two kids think of his funny German accent!

Listen again to the exclusive interview in seven parts by clicking 'play' below:

Growing up in Liverpool and the moment Rattle decided he wanted to be a conductor:

The Birmingham years with the CBSO and his recording of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony:


What is the distinctive sound of the Berlin Philharmonic? 


How did a German orchestra and audiences take to English classical music?


Rattle remembers his performance with the LSO and Mr Bean at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics:


On championing music education:



On mastering the German language - or not: