Conductor Sir Simon Rattle applies for German citizenship, citing ‘absolute necessity’

18 January 2021, 12:15

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle applies for German citizenship
Conductor Sir Simon Rattle applies for German citizenship. Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

Rattle announced last week he will leave the London Symphony Orchestra in 2023 for Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Sir Simon Rattle has applied for German citizenship after Brexit, following the announcement that he will end his tenure at the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in 2023.

When questioned at a news conference if he had followed other EU-based Britons in applying for the citizenship, Rattle responded: “My passport is on the way.

“Like for many, this was an absolute necessity,” he added.

The conductor is leaving the LSO to take on the role of chief conductor at Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

“The fact that musicians and artists in general suddenly have to get visas for Europe is absolutely not the Brexit bonus we were talking about,” Sir Simon said. “We will have to fight it.”

Read more: Who might be in the running to replace Sir Simon Rattle at the London Symphony Orchestra? >

Rattle has said that the reasons for his return to Germany as “purely personal” and that he’s “delighted” to be keeping a close relationship with LSO.

He will remain in the lifetime role of conductor emeritus at the orchestra from 2023 onwards.

“I am delighted that I will continue in my role as music director of the orchestra for another three years, extending my contract until 2023,” the maestro said.

Read more: Conductor Sir Simon Rattle steps down from London Symphony Orchestra in move to Munich >

“My reasons for accepting the role of chief conductor in Munich are entirely personal, enabling me to better manage the balance of my work and be close enough to home to be present for my children in a meaningful way.”

Sir Simon said that he remains “committed to the LSO” and is “thrilled that we will be making music together far into the future.”

LSO is Classic FM’s Orchestra in the City of London. Click here to find out more about Rattle and the orchestra’s 2021 season.