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Press Office

Press Information

Season 2003.2004

1. Information on the 2003.2004 Season 2
2. Sir Simon Rattle (Biography) 3
3. Berliner Philharmoniker (Biography) 6
4. Sir Simon Rattle’s Concerts with 9

Berliner Philharmoniker (Documentation)
5. Guests (Symphonic Concerts) 15
6. Repertoire 17
7. Tours 20
8. Education-Projects 24

November 6, 2003

Information on the Season 2003.2004


87 Concerts of the Foundation Berliner Philharmoniker
85 Symphonic concerts of Berliner Philharmoniker
72 Subscription concerts (12 Series of 6 Concerts)
13 Additional symphonic concerts
35 Concerts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle
36 Concerts on tours
33 Chamber music concerts
30 Subscription concerts (8 series)

3 Additional chamber concerts

New Chamber Music Series

Series O „Pianist in residence“ (4 concerts)

Lars Vogt and Soloists of Berliner Philharmoniker,

Students of the Orchestra’s Academy

Series R „Alte Musik“ (Ancient Music) (4 concerts)

Freiburger Barockorchester with Cecilia Bartoli

Berliner Barock Solisten, Members of Berliner Philharmoniker and guests
Series V „Beethoven-Zyklus“ (Beethoven Cycle) (6 concerts)

Philharmonia Quartett performing all Quartets by Beethoven

Sir Simon Rattle

Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool in l955 and, at the age of l6, went to the Royal Academy of Music in London to study conducting. In l974 he won first prize in the John Player International Conducting Competition and became Assistant Conductor of both the Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonietta for three years. He subsequently held titles with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic and from 1981 to 1983 was Artistic Director of the South Bank Summer Music Festival.

In 1980 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, then Music Director from September l990 until August 1998, leading many outstandingly successful tours in Europe, Scandinavia, the Far East and North America. Since October 1992, he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is also Artistic Adviser of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Simon Rattle took up the appointment of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Berliner Philharmoniker in September 2002.
In l979 he made his North American debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and was their Principal Guest Conductor from 1981 until 1994. During this period he also conducted the Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He made his New York debut in l985 with LA Philharmonic and next appeared there with CBSO in 1988. The same year included his US opera debut (Wozzeck) with Los Angeles Opera. His Glyndebourne debut was in 1977 (The Cunning Little Vixen) and he has since conducted many productions with The London Philharmonic and, more recently, with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment. He made his English National Opera debut in 1985 (Katya Kabanova) and his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut in 1990 (Cunning Little Vixen, subsequently recorded by EMI).
He started the 2002/2003 season with acclaimed concerts with Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Amsterdam, London and Paris. This was followed by projects with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He conducted the world premiere of Nicholas Maw's opera Sophie's Choice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in December 2002 and the current season includes performances of Fidelio with Berliner Philharmoniker at the Salzburg Easter Festival and at the Philharmonie Berlin as well as Idomeneo with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Glyndebourne.

An exclusive EMI artist for many years, Simon Rattle has made over sixty recordings, most with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and has gained many prestigious international awards. His first Berliner Philharmoniker recording was the award winning Liszt Faust Symphony, which was followed in 2000 by his acclaimed Mahler Symphony No. 10. In October 2002, a live recording of Mahler Symphony 5 made at his inaugural Berlin concerts, immediately became the top selling classical release. Recent seasons also included recordings of Bernstein Wonderful Town (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group), Szymanowski King Roger and Classic Ellington (both CBSO). By special arrangement with EMI, he has also recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Alfred Brendel and the Vienna Philharmonic for Philips Classics. His Channel 4 television series Leaving Home, the most ambitious series ever commissioned about 20th-century orchestra music, was shown in Autumn 1996 and received the 1997 BAFTA award for 'Best Arts Programme or Series'.

Simon Rattle conducted his first Parsifal (Netherlands Opera) in 1997 and led the CBSO's first South American tour the same year. Recent seasons have included acclaimed European tours and Salzburg Festival appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic; tours during the 1997/98 season with CBSO to Japan, North America and Europe and a complete Beethoven symphony cycle for the 1998 Salzburg Festival; a new production of Rameau Les Boréades at the 1999 Salzburg Whitsun and Summer Festivals with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and acclaimed concerts with Cecilia Bartoli and the OAE at the 1999 Summer Festival.
His 10-year festival with the CBSO, "Towards the Millennium", ended in March 2000 with concerts in Birmingham, London, Frankfurt, Baden-Baden and Vienna. In 2000, Simon Rattle conducted Makropulos Case with the CBSO in the Aix-en-Provence Festival and a concert performance of Parsifal with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms. He also conducted Parsifal last season for the Royal Opera House. In recent seasons he has given many concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, including extensive touring in Europe and Japan. His EMI recording of the complete Beethoven symphony cycle with the VPO was made in May 2002 and has been released in spring 2003. His Berliner Philharmoniker commitments will not only be restricted to Berlin, but include concerts at the Salzburg Easter Festival and touring with them in Europe, America and the Far East. Future seasons will include return visits to the Vienna Philharmonic, further projects with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and engagements with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In March 1993 Simon Rattle received the Montblanc de la Culture award for private vision for his devotion to cultural endeavor. He was awarded this for his work with the CBSO and his involvement in the building of the highly acclaimed Birmingham Symphony Hall. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Music by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford and also Birmingham Conser-

vatoire and was chosen Artist of the Year at the prestigious 1993 Gramophone Awards. At the 1995 Gramophone Awards ceremony, his recordings gained three awards: Best Orchestral Recording (Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1 with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group / Schoenberg Variations and Erwartung with CBSO) and Best Choral and Best Engineering (Szymanowski Stabat Mater with the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and CBSO). In November 1998, his recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto Op.15 (Leif Ove Andsnes) was awarded the Choc de l'Année 1998 and in November 1999 his complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Alfred Brendel won the Diapason Recording of the Year Award. In the 2000 Gramophone Awards, he won three awards – Best Opera Recording (Szymanowski / King Roger / CBSO), Best Orchestral Recording (Mahler Symphony No.10 / Berliner Philharmoniker) and Record of the Year (Mahler Symphony No.10 / Berliner Philharmoniker). In February 2001, he was awarded a Grammy for 'Best Orchestral Performance' for his recording of Mahler 10 with Berliner Philharmoniker.

In the 1987 New Year Honours, Simon Rattle was awarded the C.B.E. for his services to Music and in June 1994, he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Birthday Honours List. He was also honoured as Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in November 1995 and awarded the Toepfer Foundation of Hamburg's 1996 Shakespeare Prize for his outstanding contribution to the arts within the framework of Europe's cultural heritage. In September 1997 he was awarded the first ever BBC Music Magazine Outstanding Achievement Award and in November 1997 he was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and his involvement in educational and community activities. In January 1999 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 1999 South Bank Show Awards in honour of his 18 years work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In September 2001 he was awarded the Austrian "Cross of Honour for Science and the Arts" (first class).

November 2003

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