Simon Rattle named music director of London Symphony

LONDON (AP) — Conductor Simon Rattle is to swap Berlin for Britain, taking over as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Rattle, who has led the Berlin Philharmonic since 2002, will join the London ensemble in September 2017.

Liverpool-born Rattle, one of the world’s most acclaimed conductors, said he was thrilled to be “coming home” to Britain.

The 60-year-old conductor said the appointment, initially for five years, would be his last major job.

His Berlin contract ends in 2018, and he said he would juggle the two jobs for the 2017-18 season.

Rattle said Tuesday that he would focus on ensuring that as many people as possible have access to classical music. He also hopes to build a new concert hall for the orchestra, which is currently based at London’s Barbican Centre.