The original “wunderkind” of the conducting world, Rattle has crowned his whirlwind musical career with the appointment to the orchestra of his great historical hero, Furtwängler, and brought his unique enthusiasm and energetic style to the heart of the German symphonic tradition. With his readiness to engage with audiences, the dynamism of his performances and inquiring musical mind, he led the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra through a golden age during the two decades of his tenure, making orchestral showpieces like Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring a speciality, and actively fostering and promoting music from a new generation of British composers.
1971–74: Studies piano, percussion and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
1974: Wins the John Player International Conducting Competition.
1974–77: Assistant Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta.
1977: Opera début at Glyndebourne.
1978–83: Principal Conductor of the London Choral Society.
1979: North American début with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
1980–98: Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, from 1990 Music Director.
1981–94: Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
1987: Made Commander of the British Empire; début with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.
1992: Becomes Chief Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Artistic Adviser to the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
1993: Débuts with the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
1994: Made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II.
2002: Named Principal Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonie.
2003: His complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker, from the 2002 Wiener Festwochen, is released.
2005: Completes his cycle of Mahler symphonies with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
2007: Appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, together with the Berliner Philharmoniker.