Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic

  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic - two names that are synonymous with the highest ranking music-making. Booking them for the last week of his last Festival is something of a coup for director Brian McMaster, particularly with soloists Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin, and soprano, Lisa Milne.

An appointment that was controversial at the time, Rattle’s four years to date with the Berlin Phil have won more favour in some quarters than in others. Voted in by the players as successor to Claudio Abbado (whose Edinburgh debut conducting The Magic Flute at the Festival Theatre will coincidentally be 45 minutes prior to Rattle’s at the Usher Hall on the same evening), it is not surprising that they have been some of his staunchest supporters. Since taking up his appointment, Rattle has reformed the orchestra’s management structure into that of a foundation, not only giving the players more control over what they do, but ensuring that their fees went up. A renowned Mahler interpreter - the fifth symphony was recorded live in his inaugural concert with the orchestra - Rattle brings the Symphony No 4, along with the Violin Concerto No 1 by Szymanowski, the piece that propelled Nicola Benedetti to Young Musician of the Year. (Carol Main)

Usher Hall, 473 2000, 31 Aug, 8pm, from £7.50-£55.

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