Conductor Simon Rattle Receives Germany’s Highest Honor

By Associated Press |

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Sir Simon Rattle (Photo: Oliver Helbig)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s president has bestowed the country’s highest honor on British conductor Simon Rattle, the former head of the Berlin Philharmonic who is set to take a new job in Munich next year. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said as he presented Rattle with the Order of Merit on Tuesday that the 67-year-old “became ‘our’ Simon” during 16 years at the helm of the Philharmonic. Rattle, who lives in Berlin and now has German citizenship, said he was “deeply grateful for this honor.” He noted that he will soon have “another musical home in Munich,” where he is set to take over the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra next year. He is currently music director of the London Symphony Orchestra.