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This Is Rattle


14–24 September 2017

Sir Simon Rattle’s arrival in London heralds a new era for the LSO. To mark his inaugural season as Music Director of the Orchestra, and as Barbican Guildhall Associate Artist, we bring you ten days of celebratory events of which everyone can be a part.

This is a chance to step inside Rattle’s vision of classical music. British composers take centre-stage in the opening concert: there are works by four composers of today (who also curate their own evenings of music, presented by the Barbican), including a new fanfare by Helen Grime. Experience it live in the concert hall, or outdoors with a simulcast in the Barbican Sculpture Court.

Film and documentary screenings in the Barbican cinemas promise to deliver unique insights and new perspectives

on Rattle’s career, while BBC Radio 3, who will be in residence, bring us chamber music performed by some of the artists Rattle has championed.

And, true to Rattle’s own belief that music should be for everybody, there will be plenty of opportunities to join in, with a creative ‘Opera in a Day’ workshop at LSO St Luke’s, and performances by musicians of all ages, including the young people of LSO On Track.

What's On

Date & time
Thu 14 Sep 6.30pmBarbican FreestageThe LSO Discovery Choir performs celebratory choral fanfares.Free, no ticket required
Thu 14 Sep 6.30pmBarbican Stalls & Circle foyersEnjoy a free glass of champagne to celebrate the opening of the season.Free to concert ticket holders
Thu 14 Sep 7.30pmBarbican Hall2017/18 season opening concert:
Helen Grime Fanfare
Harrison Birtwistle Violin Concerto
Thomas Adès Asyla
Oliver Knussen Symphony No 3
Elgar 'Enigma' Variations
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Christian Tetzlaff violin
Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and Mezzo TV
Thu 14 Sep 7.30pmBarbican Sculpture CourtThe concert in the Barbican Hall will be simulcast live to open air big screens and silent headphones to the Sculpture Court above the Hall.
Presented by Barbican
Fri 15 Sep 1pmLSO St Luke'sBBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert
Artist Spotlight: Ashley Wass
Broadcast on 26 September
Fri 15 Sep 6.30pmLSO St Luke'sBBC Radio 3 Rush-Hour Concert
Artist Spotlight: Veronika Eberle
Broadcast on 27 September
Sat 16 Sep 11.15am–5pmBarbican HallLSO Discovery Day: Faust in Music
Attend a morning discussion about the music power of the Faust legend, then watch Sir Simon Rattle rehearse the LSO in Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust.
Sat 16 Sep 7.30pmMilton Court Concert HallOliver Knussen curates:
Patrick Brennan
Polly Roe
Stravinsky Two Poems of Balmont; Three Japanese Lyrics
Harrison Birtwistle Silbury Air
Oliver Knussen O Hototogisu!
Stravinsky Renard
Oliver Knussen conductor
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Part of Barbican Presents
Sun 17 Sep 10am–4pmLSO St Luke'sOpera in A Day
Spend the day making a brand new opera on the Faust legend and join in a final performance.
Suitable for over 7s
Sun 17 Sep 2pmBarbican Cinema 1Henry V
Kenneth Branagh writes, directs and stars as the eponymous king in this film adaptation of Shakespeare's play, which includes a soundtrack conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Presented by Barbican
Sun 17 Sep 5.30pmBarbican Centre FoyersFoyer performances by the LSO Community Choir.Free, no ticket required
Sun 17 Sep 6pmBarbican HallBerlioz The Damnation of Faust
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Karen Cargill Marguerite
Bryan Hymel Faust
Christopher Purves Mephistopheles
Gábor Bretz Brander
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, LSO YouTube channel and
Mon 18 Sep 12.30pmLSO St Luke'sLSO Discovery Free Lunchtime Concert
Rachel Leach presenter
Free, no ticket required
Mon 18 Sep 7.30pmMilton Court Concert HallThomas Adès curates:
Per Nørgård Hut Ab!
Nicholas Maw The Head of Orpheus
Judith Weir The Alps
Harrison Birtwistle Three settings of Célan
Niccolò Castiglioni Vallis Clausa
György Kurtág Eletut
Osvaldo Golijov Sarajevo
John Woolrich A Farewell
Thomas Adès/Madness Cardiac Arrest
Richard Baker conductor
Guildhall School musicians
Produced by Barbican and Guildhall School
Part of Barbican Presents
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Tue 19 Sep 6.30pmBarbican Centre FoyersFoyer performances by the LSO Community Choir.Free, no ticket required
Tue 19 Sep 7pmBarbican HallBerlioz The Damnation of Faust
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Karen Cargill Marguerite
Bryan Hymel Faust
Christopher Purves Mephistopheles
Gábor Bretz Brander
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
Wed 20 Sep 7.30pmMilton Court Concert HallHelen Grime curates:
Purcell Fantasia VII on One Note
George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews A Purcell Garland
Helen Grime Into the Faded Air
Britten Sinfonietta
Helen Grime A Cold Spring
Thomas Adès Court Studies from 'The Tempest'
Oliver Knussen Songs Without Voices
Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks
Jacqueline Shave director/violin
Britten Sinfonia
Produced by Barbican & Britten Sinfonia
Part of Barbican Presents
Thu 21 Sep 5.30pmBarbican Cinema 1Documentary: The Making of a Maestro
This BBC documentary provides unique insights into the working life of conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
Presented by Barbican
Thu 21 Sep 6.30pmBarbican Centre FoyersA foyer performance by members of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama brass studentsFree, no ticket required
Thu 21 Sep 7pmBarbican HallStravinsky The Firebird (original ballet)
Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version)
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
Fri 22 Sep 1pmLSO St Luke'sBBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert
Artist Spotlight: Olena Tokar
Broadcast on 28 September
Fri 22 Sep 6.30pmLSO St Luke'sBBC Radio 3
Rush-Hour Concert
Artist Spotlight: Esther Yoo
Broadcast on 29 September
Sat 23 Sep 7.30pmMilton Court Concert HallHarrison Birtwistle curates:
Varèse Octandre
Machaut Messe di Nostre Dame
Harrison Birtwistle Pulse Sampler
Byrd Lamentations
Harrison Birtwistle Moth Requiem
Martyn Brabbins conductor
BBC Singers
Recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3
Produced by Barbican and BBC Singers
Part of Barbican Presents
Sun 24 Sep 10.30amBarbican Centre FoyersFamily activitiesFree to concert ticket holders
Sun 24 Sep 12.15pmBarbican HallLSO On Track:
Elgar arr Gareth Glyn Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma'
Stravinsky Extracts from The Rite of Spring arr Gareth Glyn
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
LSO On Track young musicians
Sun 24 Sep 4pmBarbican Cinema 1Documentary: Rhythm Is It
Choreographer Royston Maldoom, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic stage a performance of Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring with a cast composed entirely of students from Berlin's city schools.
Presented by Barbican
Sun 24 Sep 5.30pmBarbican FoyersBrass fanfares performed by Guildhall School musicians.Free, no ticket required
Sun 24 Sep 6pmBarbican HallStravinsky The Firebird (original ballet)
Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version)
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Broadcast live on the LSO YouTube channel and 

Ticket prices and booking information
Full list of ticket prices and information on booking fees

Multi-buy discounts
Book all three LSO season concerts (14 Sep, 17/19 Sep, 21/24 Sep) in this series plus one other from the rest of the 2017/18 season and save 20%. Book three or more This Is Rattle events from the table above and save 10%.

Exhibitions and Installations

Rattle at Radio 3

14–21 September 2017
Barbican Foyer (Level G)

BBC Radio 3 is proud to be an official media partner of the LSO. From concert hall to radio, find out what goes into making live broadcasts of the LSO and Rattle on BBC Radio 3's Live In Concert strand. Delve into the BBC's Rattle archives, have a go at being a BBC Radio 3 presenter, try making a radio show, and recreate the LSO sound under the expert guidance of BBC engineers.

Mix your own multitrack
Join a BBC Radio 3 Sound Engineer for a one-to-one experience, to have a go at mixing a multitracked orchestral recording. No experience needed! Each session will last approx. 25 minutes.
> Click here for sessions times and to book your place

Produced by Barbican, BBC Radio 3 and LSO. Part of 'This is Rattle' on BBC Radio 3

Less Than Thirteen

14 September–22 December 2017
Barbican Foyers

Less than Thirteen is a large-scale projected artwork, situated in the heart of the Barbican’s foyers, which interprets the movement of Sir Simon Rattle conducting.

The silent, abstract videos reduce the human form to a series of animated dots based on motion capture of Sir Simon’s conducting of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The work explores the inherent musicality of movement; investigating how the conductor’s movement, although silent, can conjure up such an aural response from the orchestra.

> More details

Produced by LSO and Barbican
with thanks to Vicon Motion Systems Ltd, the University of Portsmouth, Christie Digital and The Partners

Interlock: Friends Pictured Within

14 September 2017–7 January 2018
Barbican Foyers (Level G)

A new cross arts multimedia commission by artist Jonathan Munro and musician Anna Meredith, plus over 100 participants from East London, exploring Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Responding in dance, music, art, illustration, poetry and theatre, participants will capture an artistic response to Elgar’s masterpiece, which will then be digitally captured and placed in the installation for the audience to discover and play.

> More details

Produced by Barbican and Guildhall Creative Learning

Exhibition: Rattle

14 September–22 December 2017
Barbican Music Library (Level 2)

To celebrate Sir Simon Rattle's arrival as LSO Music Director in September we have put together a free exhibition of photos and memorabilia covering his musical life to date, with contributions from his family archives, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Barbican and the LSO.

> Opening times and more info

Co-produced by the London Symphony Orchestra and Askonas Holt. Curated by Martin Campbell-White and Edward Smith.

Broadcasts and Webcasts

Even if you are not able to join us in person at the Barbican Centre you can still catch all the LSO's concerts on radio, on TV and online:

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3

Live and on demand for 30 days:
Thursday 14 September 7.30pm
Sunday 17 September 6pm
Thursday 21 September 7pm

Mezzo and Arte Concert

Mezzo and Arte Concert

Live to Mezzo TV subscribers in Europe and online to everyone via Arte Concert:
Thursday 14 September 7.30pm



Live and on demand for 90 days:
Sunday 17 September 6pm
Sunday 24 September 6pm
Plus on Facebook Live from 5.30pm

Live and on demand for 90 days:
Sunday 17 September 2017 6pm

Classic FM

Classic FM

Live on
Sunday 24 September 6pm


Keep up to date with what's happening each day via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #ThisIsRattle, and on our daily blog at

Apple Music

Discover exclusive new music, albums and playlists, hand-picked by Sir Simon and inspired by the music from This Is Rattle.