Sir Simon Rattle was chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonie from September 2002 until June 2018. Even before taking up his post as principal conductor, Simon Rattle had already collaborated regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker for fifteen years: he conducted the orchestra for the first time in November 1987 in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. His last concert as chief conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker was in June 2018 at the season closing concert at Berlin’s Waldbühne. In September 2017, Simon Rattle took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Rattle is also principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works with leading orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Liverpool in 1955, Simon Rattle studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music. In 1980 he became principal conductor and artistic adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, stepping up to music director from September 1990 until August 1998. In the concert hall and opera house, Simon Rattle’s extensive repertoire covers compositions ranging from the Baroque era to contemporary music. He has conducted operas by Rameau, Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Debussy and Poulenc in Aix-en-Provence, London, Salzburg, New York, Baden-Baden and Berlin. Music education is an important part of Sir Simon’s work; the Education Programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker was established on his initiative. For this commitment, as well as for his artistic work, Simon Rattle has won many awards: In 1994 Simon Rattle was knighted by the Queen of England. He also received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, a knighthood in the French Legion of Honour and the British Order of Merit.
Peter Sellars is one of the most unconventional and innovative theatre and opera directors of our times. Born in Pittsburgh in 1957, he studied literature and music at Harvard University, making his debut as a stage director in New York in 1980. After a further period of study in Asia, he became director of the Boston Shakespeare Company in 1983 and the following year was appointed director of the American National Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Sellars has staged operas in major houses all over the world, including the Dutch National Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the San Francisco Opera and the Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals. He has championed the creation of many new works, with long-time collaborator John Adams, such as Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic, and works by Tan Dun, Osvaldo Golijov and Kaija Saariaho. Peter Sellars has received numerous honours (MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, Gish Prize and the Polar Music Prize among others) and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is professor at the University of California in Los Angeles. The collaboration between Sellars and the Berliner Philharmoniker began in April 2010 with the St Matthew Passion, followed by the St John Passion in 2014; in the 2015/16 season he was their artist in residence. His most recent project was a concert staging of Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen in October 2017, the conductor was Sir Simon Rattle.
Georg Nigl appeared in his childhood as a soprano soloist with the Vienna Boys’ Choir at major venues before training under the Kammersängerin Hilde Zadek as a baritone. Today, engagements take him to renowned opera houses such as the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, Bayerische Staastsoper in Munich, the state opera houses in Stuttgart and Hamburg, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam plus major festivals (Salzburg Festival, Festival Aix-en-Provence, Ruhrtriennale, Wiener Festwochen). Georg Nigl has worked together with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Teodor Currentzis, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs and Kent Nagano and with directors including Andrea Breth, Frank Castorf, Hans Neuenfels, Johan Simons, Dmitri Tcherniakov and Sasha Waltz. The singer has gained special recognition for his performances in many premieres and has been initiating the creation of compositions by Friedrich Cerha, Pascal Dusapin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Mitterer, Olga Neuwirth and Wolfgang Rihm. Georg Nigl’s chamber music repertoire, which he prepares and performs together with Alexander Melnikov, Gérard Wyss and Luca Pianca, covers a wide spectrum ranging from the Baroque era to the First Viennese School to contemporary music. Since 2014, he has been a professor of voice at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. Voted the critics’ “Singer of the Year” in the magazine Opernwelt in 2015, Georg Nigl made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in March 2017 in John Adams’ The Wound-Dresser, conducted by Kirill Petrenko.
Mark Padmore first trained as a clarinetist before starting his vocal studies at King’s College in Cambridge in 1979. His close association with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants began in 1991, and with Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent in 1992. Mark Padmore soon gained global fame particularly for his roles as the Evangelist and as tenor soloist in Bach’s choral works. But from the 1990s, he also increasingly made a name for himself on the opera stage: he sang in Peter Brook’s production of Don Giovanni in Aix-en-Provence, made a guest appearance in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and was involved in performances of Handel’s Jephtha at English National Opera. He also took on the main roles in Harrison Birtwistle’s The Corridor and The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival and at the Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden. Mark Padmore has performed with the Vienna and New York Philharmonic, the London and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam; he also regularly performs with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia. As a lieder singer, he works together with pianists such as Julius Drake, Till Fellner, Paul Lewis and Roger Vignoles. In the 2017/2018 season, Mark Padmore was artist in residence of the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation. In concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker, he most recently appeared in Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri in May 2018. Mark Padmore is artistic director of the St Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.
Andrew Staples sang as a boy in the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London before studying music at King’s College in Cambridge. With a grant from the Britten Pears Foundation, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Britten International Opera School. With a repertoire which includes works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Britten and Tavener, Andrew Staples is a guest artist at leading opera houses and concert halls, and at renowned festivals. At the Royal Opera House in London he has appeared as Flamand (Capriccio), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Narraboth (Salome) and Artabenes (Arne’s Artaxerxes) among other roles there. He has also sung at the National Theatre in Prague, the Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago and at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) at the Salzburg Festival. On the concert stage, Andrew Staples has sung with orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, working with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Harding and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In Berliner Philharmoniker concerts, where the singer made his debut in early February 2009, Andrew Staples was last heard in May 2018 in performances of Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri, conducted by Mikko Franck.
Camilla Tilling hails from Linköping in Sweden. She studied at the University of Gothenburg and at London’s Royal College of Music. She has appeared in many leading opera houses in Europe and the United States of America as well as the Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Drottningholm and Aix-en-Provence Festivals. Her operatic repertory extends from Handel and Mozart to Rossini, Verdi and Strauss and also includes roles by Debussy and Britten. Among the international concert halls and recital rooms where she has appeared are the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Promenade Concerts, the Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. Among the conductors with whom she has worked are Semyon Bychkov, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle and William Christie. Camilla Tilling made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in December 2007 in performances of Handel’s Messiah under the direction of William Christie. In recent years, she participated in the staged performances of Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passion, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Her last appearance with the orchestra was in February 2017 in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, also directed by Simon Rattle.
Roderick Williams is much sought after throughout Europe as an opera, lieder and oratorio singer with a repertoire that ranges from Baroque to contemporary music, including works by composers such as Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Kaija Saariaho and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Roderick Williams studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and in 1994, he won second prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition. Since then, the English baritone has been much in demand as a guest artist in the great opera houses of Europe where he has performed in works by Mozart, Puccini, Strauss and Britten, among others. Also a successful composer, the artist has appeared as a concert singer with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Academy of Ancient Music and Concert Spirituel, to name but a few. Roderick Williams, who was awarded an OBE in June 2017, made his first appearance at the invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation with the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin in the chamber music hall in October 2000, and last performed with the orchestra in March 2014 in the staged performances of Bach’s St John Passion.