A few hours ahead of conducting his final concert at the Barbican Centre as the London Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle will be centre stage at the Barbican Music Library for a unique tribute to his remarkable career.
Joined at the City of London Corporation-owned library on 15 June by colleagues and friends, Sir Simon will help unveil a bronze bust, created in his honour by Frances Segelman, aka Lady Petchey, and in recognition of his five decades in classical music.
The sculpture has been donated by Sir Jack and Lady Petchey to the charity, Help Musicians, which has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK for over 100 years.
Over the course of his hugely successful career, during which he has made over 100 recordings and displayed a penchant for conducting composers from Mahler to Maxwell Davies and championing contemporary music, Sir Simon has supported emerging talent and promoted the importance of music education.
His main roles have included assistant conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, principal conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and for 18 years, principal conductor and artistic adviser/music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In 2017, Sir Simon became Music Director of the Barbican’s resident orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), and in 2021, it announced that he would conclude his tenure in this role in 2023, taking on the title of Conductor Emeritus in subsequent seasons.
Sir Simon has also been appointed chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Chorus.
Chairman of the City Corporation’s Culture, Heritage, and Libraries Committee, Munsur Ali, said:
“A very familiar figure on the podium, Sir Simon conducts orchestras around the world with passion, exuberance, and precision and is one of our best-loved conductors.
“Taking up a prime position in our Barbican Music Library, Frances Segelman’s lovingly created tribute will be seen and enjoyed by music lovers for many years to come.”
Interim Chief Executive of Help Musicians, Sarah Woods, said:
“This generous gift from Frances Segelman, which has now found a home in Barbican Music Library, is both very generous and fitting, and we would like to thank everyone involved in this very special piece of art.
“The charity has been supporting musicians for over 100 years, and significant figures in the industry, such as Sir Simon Rattle, are vital in raising awareness of the challenges faced by musicians while they are building and sustaining their careers.”
Sculptor Frances Segelman said:
“Sir Simon Rattle is a truly remarkable music maestro, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to create a bust of him for Help Musicians.
“It is a great honour that the City of London Corporation has given pride of place to my sculpture within the Barbican Music Library, which will help highlight the vital work done by the Help Musicians charity to offer assistance to musicians throughout their careers.”
The City Corporation, which owns and manages the Barbican Music Library and is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre, has launched ‘Destination City’, which will transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.