Sir Simon Rattle at 60



Happy Birthday to the great Sir Simon Rattle – what an incredible 60 years!

Simon is celebrating his birthday with a large London Residency at both the Barbican and Royal Festival halls this February for a series of spectacular concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The BBC will also be celebrating Sir Simon Rattle’s 60th birthday with a month of dedicated programming across January and February 2015, including the first television biography of Sir Simon for fifteen years, rediscovered recordings, and a series of live concert broadcasts.

A major new BBC Two documentary Simon Rattle: The Making of a Maestro airs on Saturday 14th February and spans Simon’s career of over four decades. It follows his remarkable journey from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The documentary is complimented by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four broadcasts of Simon’s upcoming birthday residency with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 5 concerts at the Barbican and Southbank centres as mentioned above.  Radio 3’s Live in Concert broadcasts the complete Sibelius Cycle in the 150th anniversary year of the composer’s birth (10/11/12 February 2015) alongside a programme of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (with soloists Magdalena Kožená and Kate Royal) and Lachenman’s Tableau.  BBC Four will broadcast the last of the series of Sibelius Concerts (Symphonies 5, 6 and 7) from the Barbican Centre with presenter Kirsty Wark.

Named this week’s ‘artist of the week’, BBC Radio 3 will celebrate Simon’s birthday further by broadcasting previously unheard archive recordings of him with the CBSO from twenty years ago at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt (1995).  This will bring to life Rattle’s first ever recorded Beethoven Symphony Cycle alongside Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio, Overtures 1 and 2 and the Funeral March for Leonore Prohaska.

We would also like to thank the National Portrait Gallery for their acquisition of two incredible portraits of Sir Simon – the first taken by Rory Coonan in 1982 on film using a 125 year old plate camera and released for the first time to celebrate his birthday today.  The second by Sheila Rock, taken shortly after his appointment as Principal Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

We send Sir Simon our very best wishes on this special day! Congratulations from everyone at Askonas Holt!

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