Drumming, then playing the piano, eventually conducting recordings – Sir Simon Rattle has been obsessed with music since his earliest childhood. At four he began to learn percussion, later adding piano and violin. By the age of 16, he was already studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – first as principal conductor and artistic adviser, then as music director – made the Liverpool native famous. At his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1987, he won them over with his energetic conducting style, his unconditional passion for music and his artistic visions. That made him the strongest candidate to succeed Claudio Abbadio in 2002. During his 16-year tenure, Sir Simon was, with his musicians, responsible for many important initiatives setting the orchestra’s future course: founding the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin Philharmonic Foundation), creating the Education programme as well as the Digital Concert Hall video portal and the label Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings. Along with the symphony cycles of Sibelius, Mahler, Brahms, Schumann and Beethoven, the collaboration’s high points included stagings by Peter Sellars of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion as well as the introduction of “Late Night” concerts. Since the end of his tenure, Sir Simon Rattle – currently music director of the London Symphony Orchestra and designated principal conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks – has continued to maintain close ties with the Berliner Philharmoniker. By no means have all the fruits of their prolific artistic affiliation already been harvested.