Sir Simon Rattle makes his conducting debut at St Paul’s Cathedral

Sir Simon Rattle will conduct for the first time at St Paul’s Cathedral in a special gala concert for the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

The British conductor, who is also the orchestra’s musical director, will conduct the rarely performed Sinfonie Grande Symphonie Funebre Et Triomphale by French composer Hector Berlioz, one of the earliest examples of a symphony composed for a military band.

Three works by the composer Olivier Messiaen, performed with the grand organ of St Paul’s Cathedral, will also be on display.


Funds raised from the gala will be donated to the LSO’s appeal, which helps support the orchestra’s work in communities across London (Matt Alexander/PA)

Sir Simon has been Music Director of the LSO since 2015, having previously been Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Speaking of the event, which will take place in June, Sir Simon said: “The Grande Symphonie Funebre Et Triomphale was unprecedented when it was created: a towering monument of sound, written to be performed in a huge public space and for a small one Score Army of Marching Musicians.

“We’ll start our event with more than 80 musicians from nearby Paternoster Square and then perform Messiaen’s Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum, another massive work for percussion, brass and woodwind, to be played in the open air or suitably cavernous spaces.

“For as long as I can remember it has been a dream to perform at St Paul’s Cathedral.

“In the heart of the City of London.

“It’s a great privilege for all of us.

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“For so many reasons, this concert has a special meaning.

“Bringing together thousands of people in hope with the power of music as the great organizer.”

The LSO is based at the Barbican Centre, but the orchestra occasionally performs elsewhere in London.

The gala concert at St Paul’s is the first time the orchestra has performed at the cathedral in five years.

Money raised from the concert will be donated to the LSO’s appeal, which ensures it can continue its work in communities across London.

The Orchestra’s projects include the LSO East London Academy, a program enabling young talent in East London schools to develop their musical skills alongside the LSO’s professional musicians.

LSO Executive Director Kathryn McDowell said: “The privilege of performing at St Paul’s Cathedral is extraordinary.

“We are deeply grateful to our partners in the City of London for their support which has made this possible and has enabled us to continue our work on a larger scale in the City and London communities.”

The gala concert takes place at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 23rd at 7pm and tickets cost between £25 and £100. Sir Simon Rattle makes his conducting debut at St Paul’s Cathedral

Fry Electronics Team

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