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Berlin Philharmonic elects Sir Simon Rattle
to succeed Claudio Abbado as chief conductor in 2002


BERLIN, 24 June 1999 - Yesterday, at 4:20 P.M, the 113 voting members of the 128 players of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra elected Sir Simon Rattle, 44, to succeed Claudio Abbado as music director and chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The British conductor's appointment takes effect at the start of the 2002/2003 season for an initial period of six years, making the Liverpool born-musician and former chief conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) the sixth chief conductor in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's 117-year history.

Although Claudio Abbado, 65, chose to retire at the end of the 2001/2002 season as music director to persue other interests, the Berlin orchestra confirmed nonetheless its wish for the Italian conductor to continue to collaborate on special projects, notably his concert series devoted to myth and literary themes such as Prometheus, the Wanderer, Faust, Shakespeare and Tristan und Isolde which resulted in several noteworthy recordings.

There were those who thought Daniel Barenboim, 56, had a fighting chance before the conclave, but behind closed doors the tide turned in favour of Sir Simon Rattle.


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