“It was pure pleasure”: Sir Simon Rattle on new role with Czech Philharmonic

Photo: Roman Vondrouš, ČTK

Prague classical music buffs will soon get more regular opportunities to enjoy Sir Simon Rattle in action, after the world famous conductor on Wednesday signed as principal guest conductor with the Czech Philharmonic from next season. I spoke to Sir Simon soon after the big news was announced at the orchestra’s home, the Rudolfinum.

What were your motivations in accepting the invitation to become principal guest conductor with the Czech Philharmonic?

“Oh, it was pure pleasure. I fell in love with the orchestra the first time I came to conduct. Of course I had known them for years, but if you’re conducting it’s a different thing.

“I just thought, Look, this is a relationship I would like to keep – I would like not to be just an occasional guest; I’d like to be a bit part of this institution.

“And of course it is one of the greatest orchestras in the world – I hope everybody in this country knows that.

“So it’s selfish. I love the orchestra and I want to keep on making music with them.”

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Author: Ian Willoughby