Press Release: Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle in His Final Boston Appearance as Chief Conductor

Friday, November 11, 2016, 8pm — Symphony Hall

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445,
Sir Simon Rattle high-res photo | Celebrity Series Press Room

Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the Berliner Philharmoniker with conductor Sir Simon Rattle in his final Boston appearance as Chief Conductor of the orchestra on Friday, November 11, 2016, at 8pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. Sponsored by Amy and Joshua Boger, Eleanor and Frank Pao, and Henri and Belinda Termeer.

Tickets start at $57, and are available online at, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Symphony Hall Box Office, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

This performance marks the thirteenth Celebrity Series performance for the Berliner Philharmoniker and the fourth for Sir Simon Rattle.

Berliner Philharmoniker started with an act of rebellion: in March 1882 50 members of the ensemble run by the popular musical director Benjamin Bilse refused to sign their new contracts – they found the working conditions too unfavorable: they were to earn hardly more than day laborers. The musicians decided to set up on their own and from then on to work at their own risk. The ambitious young orchestra had high aspirations. The Philharmonic musicians enjoyed their first major successes under conductors like Ludwig von Brenner, Ernst Rudorff and particularly Franz Wüllner. To secure their existence in the long term, they entered into a co-operation with the Royal Music Conservatory, run by the famous violinist Joseph Joachim.

When Claudio Abbado announced his resignation as principal conductor in 1998, he presented the Berliner Philharmoniker with a major challenge, namely to find a personality to get the orchestra ready for the 21st century. With Sir Simon Rattle, then Artistic Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the musicians got a leader who started with the objective of forming the Philharmoniker into a “quintessentially European orchestra.” He favors a transparent orchestra sound, and focuses strongly on the works of Viennese classicism as well as contemporary composers – including Hans Werner Henze, Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann, Sofia Gubaidulina and Heiner Goebbels. Of particular note are his cyclical interpretations of the symphonies of Brahms, Sibelius and Mahler, as well as a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion staged by Peter Sellars – for Rattle “the most important thing we’ve ever done here.”

Born in Liverpool, England, Sir Simon Rattle studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, and 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. He is also Founding Patron of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and since the early 1990s, has been a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As guest conductor, he appears regularly in the United States, London and Europe, with close links to a number of orchestras most notably with the Vienna Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras.

In September 2002 he became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker where he leads regular tours in Europe, North America and the Far East and has recently conducted in Lucerne, Salzburg and London’s BBC Proms. His most recent opera includes the Staatsoper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In 2017, Rattle will take up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

BOULEZ – Éclat
MAHLER – Symphony No. 7

Program is subject to change.

About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.


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