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March, 30

Sir Antonio Pappano to replace Sir Simon rattle at London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Antonio Pappano will replace Sir Simon Rattle at the London Symphony Orchestra, and will give up musical commitments abroad to take the role as chief conductor.

The UK’s preeminent conductor Sir Simon has been with the ensemble since 2017, but will take up a position in Munich in 2023 to be closer to his family in Germany.

Sir Antonio is currently musical director at the Royal Opera House and the Santa Cecilia orchestra in Rome, as like many of his peers he splits his time with a conducting role abroad.

But it is understood that he will focus on his UK commitments and relinquish his position in Rome before beginning his tenure as chief conductor at the London London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

He will also give up his position at the Royal Opera House when he takes up the new role.

Sir Antonio said: “That I have been chosen as chief conductor is a dream come true and a most wonderful gift. I am humbled and excited to receive this honour and trust.

“I am committed to keeping London as my musical home and look forward to this most important journey that awaits me.”

It is thought Sir Antonio, born in Essex and raised in Italy, will favour a more traditional repertoire for the LSO when he takes over from Sir Simon.

Sir Simon announced in January that he would be joining the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to be closer to his family, although it was suggested he was unhappy that plans for a new Centre for Music to house the LSO were going to be scrapped.

It was believed the promise of a new state-of-the-art concert hall was used to attract the conductor to the LSO, and he championed the project which was backed by Chancellor George Osborne.

After government funding was withdrawn in the wake of the Brexit vote, and the project faced planning difficulties related to taking over the Museum of London’s current location, plans were abandoned soon after Sir Simon announced he would be departing.

Sir Antonio will conduct the LSO at its current home at the Barbican Centre.

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