Entertainment & Arts

Berlin Philharmonic orchestra fails to elect conductor

Sir Simon Rattle and Berlin Philharmonic Image copyright WOLFGANG KUMM
Image caption The Berlin Philharmonic has had three chief conductors over six decades

Members of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra have been unable to agree on who should be their next chief conductor and artistic director.

After 11 hours of secret discussions, the musicians could not reach a decision on a replacement for Sir Simon Rattle, who steps down in 2018.

Board member Peter Riegelbauer said they would try again "within a year".

The orchestra's 123 members met in a south-west Berlin church on Monday and were banned from using mobile phones.

But after an announcement was delayed several times, Mr Riegelbauer said: "I must unfortunately tell you that we haven't reached any result."

Image copyright LSO
Image caption Sir Simon Rattle will join the London Symphony Orchestra as its music director

From September 2017, Sir Simon is to join the London Symphony Orchestra as its music director.

Among his possible successors are:

  • Latvian Andris Nelsons, 37, who heads the Birmingham and Boston symphony orchestras
  • Venezuelan Gustavo "the Dude" Dudamel, 34, who conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Berlin native Christian Thielemann, 56, at the Staatskapelle Dresden

The Berlin Philharmonic, founded in 1882, has had three chief conductors over the past six decades:

  • Herbert von Karajan 1954-89
  • Claudio Abbado 1989-2002
  • Sir Simon Rattle 2002-15

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