Conductor Sir Simon Rattle steps down from London Symphony Orchestra in move to Munich

11 January 2021, 10:55 | Updated: 11 January 2021, 16:14

Sir Simon Rattle is stepping down as music director of the LSO in 2023.
Sir Simon Rattle is stepping down as music director of the LSO in 2023. Picture: Getty

By Rosie Pentreath

Rattle has renewed his contract as music director of London Symphony Orchestra until 2023, when he’ll take the role of chief conductor at Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle will be stepping down from the helm of London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in 2023, to move to Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Currently music director of LSO, Rattle will be taking the baton as chief conductor of the Munich orchestra, remaining in the lifetime role of conductor emeritus at the LSO, from 2023 onwards.

It has been confirmed Rattle will maintain his relationship with LSO at the Barbican, with major projects already in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.

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

Read more: Sir Simon Rattle on the wonderful role of conductors >

“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,” Sir Simon says.

“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.”

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

LSO chair, David Alberman, and managing director, Kathryn McDowell, have said, “Sir Simon Rattle will extend his current agreement with the London Symphony Orchestra as Music Director until 2023.

“In view of the special relationship the orchestra has with Sir Simon, he will take up a lifetime role as Conductor Emeritus from 2023 onwards, the first such appointment to this role since André Previn.

“Simon will be taking forward a number of significant projects with us over the coming years working from our home base at the Barbican... We want to thank Sir Simon for his immense and continuing contribution to the London Symphony Orchestra.”

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.