During an orchestra summit Sir Simon Rattle has announced that he will finish his tenure as chief conductor and artistic director of Berliner Philharmoniker in summer 2018 after fulfilling his current contract with the orchestra.
Sir Simon Rattle: “In 2018 I will have been with the orchestra for 16 years. Before this I was Chief Conductor in Birmingham for 18 years. In 2018 I will be nearly 64 years old. As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles’ question, ‘Will you still need me.., when I’m 64?’ and I am sure that then it will be time for somebody else to take on the magnificent challenge that is the Berliner Philharmoniker. This was not an easy decision. I love this orchestra and therefore wanted to tell them my decision as early as possible. I deeply hope that this will give them enough time to start new plans. I look forward with great pleasure to our next five years together and hopefully many years afterwards. I am thankful for the time that we have spent together so far.”
Peter Riegelbauer/Stefan Dohr, Orchestra Chairmen: “We regret Simon Rattle’s decision not to continue as Artistic Director of the orchestra when his contract expires in 2018. At the same time, we respect his personal decision. Our collaboration with him is characterized by great mutual sympathy and a respectful artistic and human relationship. This is a wonderful basis for our work with Sir Simon as Artistic Director during the coming five years. We look forward to many exciting projects which are already in the planning stage. After 2018 we will continue our close and friendly relationship with him.”
Martin Hoffmann, General Manager: “This is very sad news for the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation and the city of Berlin. I have great respect for Sir Simon Rattle’s decision. With his outstanding musicality and creativity he has filled new listeners with enthusiasm for the orchestra every day and has shaped the national and international perception of the Berliner Philharmoniker as a vital cultural ambassador for Berlin. I look forward to our future
collaboration on behalf of the orchestra and the Foundation.”