Rattle, Sir Simon, 1955–, British conductor, b. Liverpool, studied Royal Academy of Music, London. Originally a percussionist, he became part of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra at 11 and of the Royal Liverpool Orchestra at 15. In 1974 he became the youngest person ever to win the John Player International Conducting Competition, launching his career on the podium. From 1980 to 1998 he was the popular and critically acclaimed principal conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he transformed into a major orchestra. Known for his innovative and dynamic style and wide musical interests, Rattle also has frequently led the Glyndebourne Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He succeeded Claudio Abbado as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002.
See N. Kenyon, Simon Rattle: The Making of a Conductor (1987).
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