Sir Simon Rattle
Since 2002 Simon Rattle has been Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic - regarded by many as the finest symphony orchestra in the world. He is only the sixth person to hold the position in 120 years and is the first Briton to take on the challenge.
Growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s, while other youngsters were listening to The Beatles, he was transfixed by Mahler and was determined to become a conductor. His talent was prodigious. He won an international conducting competition aged just nineteen and so, with plenty of enthusiasm but scant experience, began his career. Initially because of his youth, his approach was collaborative rather than autocratic and it has been a style that brought tremendous results during his eighteen year association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He insists that his approach with the Berlin Philharmonic is about teamwork too - but concedes that it is an orchestra that contains some very strong characters and very big egos.