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Shake, rattle and roll

At Birmingham's symphony orchestra, Simon Rattle showed the way forward for cultural politics. May he do the same in Berlin

By Michael Mcmanus   October 2002

It was an extraordinary experience to arrive in Berlin at the start of September. Advertising hoardings right across the city were dominated not by pop stars, football players or the latest perfumes-but with the face of Simon Rattle. He was about to commence his (at least ten-year) stint as chief conductor and musical director of the justly-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with a gala concert on 7th September.

This was tribute not only to Rattle’s prodigious musical gifts, but also to his skills as a communicator, as an educator and as a politician manqu?. Back in London, Antonio Pappano began his…

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