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Simon Rattle

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January 10, 2013 | By David Ng
As the chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle holds one of the most prestigious and coveted jobs in the world of conducting. The English maestro, who joined the venerated orchestra in 2002, has announced that he will step down from the post in summer 2018. Rattle, 57, hails from Liverpool and made a reference to the Beatles in a statement published Thursday on the orchestra's website: "It is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me.., when I'm 64?
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Socrates was said to have been the ugliest man in Athens. We don't know much about the great thinker on whom modern philosophy is grounded, but we do have a pretty good notion that he had bulging eyes and a disagreeable nose. He was grubby. He was often barefoot. He must have smelled bad. He was sentenced to death for not recognizing the gods the city recognized and for introducing new ones, as well as for corrupting youth. But he was, no doubt, really executed for being unbelievably annoying.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
It wasn't exactly old times Thursday night when Simon Rattle finally, finally returned to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the first time in 12 years. Back then the L.A. Phil was a dispirited orchestra. Music director Esa-Pekka Salonenwas on sabbatical, and the orchestra was struggling with poor attendance. The completion of the long-delayed Walt Disney Concert Hall was another three years away and still controversial. Meanwhile, it would be two more years before Rattle, then 45, would become music director of the Berlin Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2013 | By David Ng
As the chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle holds one of the most prestigious and coveted jobs in the world of conducting. The English maestro, who joined the venerated orchestra in 2002, has announced that he will step down from the post in summer 2018. Rattle, 57, hails from Liverpool and made a reference to the Beatles in a statement published Thursday on the orchestra's website: "It is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me.., when I'm 64?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 1988 | JOHN HENKEN
Oscar Levant once wrote of Leonard Bernstein that "he uses music as an accompaniment to his conducting." Although that may be an exaggeration, in some ways two PBS programs tonight contrast how Bernstein uses music with how music uses Simon Rattle. In "Bernstein on Brahms," presented on the ongoing "Great Performances" series tonight (8 p.m. on Channel 24, 9 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 1991 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Tuesday nights have been quiet nights, for the most part, this summer at Hollywood Bowl. The excitement level has remained relatively low. So have the attendance figures in our 18,000-seat amphitheater under the clouded stars. All that changed this week.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 6, 1993 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Only Americans know how to stage George Gershwin's fragile but inevitably poignant "Porgy and Bess." Only Americans can understand the folksy conflicts of Catfish Row, not to mention the inherent jazz-inflected idiom. Right? It ain't necessarily so. In recent years, we have encountered lots of "Porgy and Bess" productions that were made in the good old U.S.A. Most were dubious at worst, problematic at best.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2003 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Anyone who thinks there has been a lot of hoopla for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall should have been in Berlin on Sept. 7 last year, the day Simon Rattle led his first concert as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Britain's most popular conductor had achieved the most prestigious -- and some would say most important -- job in classical music. Music insiders in London referred to it as the coronation. Berlin itself felt under the spell of Rattle's smile.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2005 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
JUST before Thanksgiving, the Berlin Philharmonic completed an Asian tour with a concert in Suntory Hall, the Tokyo venue with acoustics reminiscent of Walt Disney Concert Hall but programming closer to Carnegie Hall's. Suntory sees a regular succession of the world's great orchestras. But the Berlin Philharmonic, which shows up most years in Tokyo, is always an especially hot ticket.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 2002 | MARK SWED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
BERLIN--In his excellent, newly updated biography of Simon Rattle, Nicholas Kenyon begins with the words "This could change the musical world." The "this" is Rattle's becoming music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Saturday night, amid a town festooned with cheerful "Welcome Sir Simon" billboards, the changing began with impressively played and enthusiastically received performances of Thomas Ades' "Asyla" and Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Impressive, but not earthshaking.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
It wasn't exactly old times Thursday night when Simon Rattle finally, finally returned to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the first time in 12 years. Back then the L.A. Phil was a dispirited orchestra. Music director Esa-Pekka Salonenwas on sabbatical, and the orchestra was struggling with poor attendance. The completion of the long-delayed Walt Disney Concert Hall was another three years away and still controversial. Meanwhile, it would be two more years before Rattle, then 45, would become music director of the Berlin Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2009 | By MARK SWED, Music Critic
In April 1989, the glamorously autocratic Herbert von Karajan resigned from his post as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, the West German ensemble he had led for 35 years and made into the most brilliant orchestra the world had ever known. In July, he died. On Nov. 9, the Berlin Wall came down. Then, on Christmas Day, Leonard Bernstein, Karajan's old rival, summoned orchestra members from Munich, Dresden, Leningrad, Paris and New York to the once and future capital of Germany for the official concert celebrating the fall of the wall -- a historic performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2005 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
JUST before Thanksgiving, the Berlin Philharmonic completed an Asian tour with a concert in Suntory Hall, the Tokyo venue with acoustics reminiscent of Walt Disney Concert Hall but programming closer to Carnegie Hall's. Suntory sees a regular succession of the world's great orchestras. But the Berlin Philharmonic, which shows up most years in Tokyo, is always an especially hot ticket.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 2003 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
On Dec. 8, 1942, Wilhelm Furtwangler conducted Schubert's monumental C-Major Symphony ("The Great") with the Berlin Philharmonic in the orchestra's old concert hall, which was destroyed by the Allies in 1944. Most in the audience were probably Nazis. Listen today to a recording of this almost unbearably intense and tragic interpretation of the usually triumphant work, and you can hear a message. Cheerful rhythms in the first movement become machine-gun fire.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2003 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Anyone who thinks there has been a lot of hoopla for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall should have been in Berlin on Sept. 7 last year, the day Simon Rattle led his first concert as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Britain's most popular conductor had achieved the most prestigious -- and some would say most important -- job in classical music. Music insiders in London referred to it as the coronation. Berlin itself felt under the spell of Rattle's smile.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2003 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
No matter how many times they've been recorded, no matter how many times they've been written about, someone is always claiming there is something more to hear, something new to say about Beethoven and his nine symphonies. In the last six months alone, there has been a major new Beethoven biography (by Lewis Lockwood), an important new study of the composer's late career (Maynard Solomon) and a fascinating book devoted to the political implications of his Ninth Symphony (Estaban Buch).
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 1994 | DANIEL CARIAGA, TIMES MUSIC WRITER
Soprano Elise Ross and her husband, conductor Simon Rattle, have withdrawn from L.A. Music Center Opera's new production of Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande," due in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in February. Replacing Rattle on the podium will be Esa-Pekka Salonen, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in his local operatic debut. The role of Melisande will be performed by mezzo-soprano Monica Groop, also a Finnish musician.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 1999 | MARK SWED
The Berlin Philharmonic is about to get a wake-up call. The august orchestra has been led for much of the past century by Wilhelm Furtwangler, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. But beginning in 2002, when Simon Rattle takes over, there will be a new kind of conductor for a new kind of city. And here is an example of what the former principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and upcoming music director of the Ojai Festival (June 2000) is up to these days.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2003 | From Associated Press
Simon Rattle will conduct the Berlin Philharmonic for the first time in the United States, taking the orchestra to New York's Carnegie Hall for three performances in November. Rattle's programs will include Gyorgy Ligeti's violin concerto and the U.S. premieres of works by Henri Dutilleux and Heiner Goebbels. Carnegie Hall's 2003-04 season, announced Tuesday, includes world premieres of compositions by Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Osvaldo Golijov, Kaija Saariaho and Steven Stucky.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 2002 | MARK SWED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
BERLIN--In his excellent, newly updated biography of Simon Rattle, Nicholas Kenyon begins with the words "This could change the musical world." The "this" is Rattle's becoming music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Saturday night, amid a town festooned with cheerful "Welcome Sir Simon" billboards, the changing began with impressively played and enthusiastically received performances of Thomas Ades' "Asyla" and Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Impressive, but not earthshaking.
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