Simon Rattle, the British-born conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, is one of the best-known classical musicians alive. His influence shows up in all sorts of places: at the Metropolitan Opera, where musicians still speak of his presence there in reverent tones, and in West Philadelphia where his advocacy of Venezuela’s El Sistema helped inspire trumpeter Stanford Thompson to create Play On Philly, a music education program that touches hundreds of lives.
As the Olympics in London get into full swing, WRTI's Susan Lewis talks with a featured player in the Cultural Olympiad: Sir Simon Rattle, music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. The world-renowned conductor shares his thoughts about the nexus between sports and music, his own path to the podium, and his relationship with Philadelphia.
Rattle conducted the London Philharmonic and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in performances featuring the UK premiere of Wynton Marsalis's Symphony No. 3 or "Swing Symphony" as the games began.
Earlier this week, Sir Simon Rattle conducted a series of concerts celebrating the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. Rattle conducted a very special performance of the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the opening ceremony, which featured Mr. Bean (British comedian Rowan Atkinson) as a comical, and less than enthusiastic, keyboard soloist.
Rattle is as passionate about music as any athletic icon is about sports - about its intrinsic value and its ability to change lives.