Simon Rattle celebrated by Barbican Music Library

Sir Simon Rattle’s first season as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), will be marked by a free exhibition at Barbican Music Library.

Rattle, which opens at the City of London Corporation-owned library on 14 September, will trace a timeline from 1955, the year of his birth, to the present day with photos, awards, video footage, letters, programmes, and unseen items from Sir Simon’s family collections. Curated by his first manager, Martin Campbell-White, and Edward Smith, former chief executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rattle has been organised by the London Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with arts management company, Askonas Holt.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent conductors, Sir Simon’s career spans nearly half a century, starting in the mid-1970s, when he was appointed assistant conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. More recently, Sir Simon is best known for his association with the Berlin Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The planned Centre for Music, which would be built on the current site of the Museum of London, will become the LSO’s new home under Sir Simon’s leadership. The flagship concert hall would be a major landmark in Culture Mile, the vibrant cultural and creative destination in the north-west corner of the Square Mile.

Graham Packham, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“Sir Simon Rattle is one of the finest conductors of his generation and a passionate advocate for classical music. As he takes over this month as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, itself, one of the world’s greatest orchestras, it is entirely fitting that his remarkable achievements and talent are celebrated by the Barbican Music Library. I hope that visitors to the exhibition will enjoy this tribute to Sir Simon, which will certainly attract regular concert-goers at London Symphony Orchestra performances at the Barbican Centre, as well as music lovers from London and beyond.”

A pre-concert talk with exhibition curators, Martin Campbell-White and Edward Smith will be held on 13 December at 5.45pm in the Barbican Music Library.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and funds Barbican Music Library, invests over £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Notes for Editors:

Rattle runs from Thursday 14 September to Friday 22 December 2017 at the Barbican Music Library. Admission is FREE.

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email


Barbican Music Library, which is free to join, is one of the most significant public music col­lections in the country, with over 15,000 CDs and DVDs covering a range of different musi­cal styles. It also boasts a stock of nearly 16,000 music scores and an extensive collection of books about music and musicians; and over 70 periodicals covering different aspects of music and recording, with selected back issues available for reference. Six listening booths are provided, in which recordings from the lending collection can be listened to free of charge. Two digital pianos are available free of charge for practice purposes.

Barbican Music Library opening times:

Monday, Wednesday 9.30am to 5.30pm; Tuesday, Thursday 9.30am to 7.30pm; Friday 9.30am to 2pm; Saturday 9.30am to 4pm; closed on Sunday. Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

NB: The Barbican Music Library exhibition area will remain open until 7.30pm on Saturday 16 September and Saturday 23 September - access will be provided for viewing the exhibition only. The library will close at its usual time of 4pm.


The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

• We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of around £20 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

• We also help look after key London’s heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London.

• We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.