Simon Rattle left a lot of yearning in the wake of his last visit to the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was a lovefest among musicians, the British conductor, audiences and, I might add, the critics. Why can't he be music director here? Board members are parroting the usual line: he's got a contract with the Berlin Philharmonic.
While it's certainly true he's music director of that orchestra, and that his future in Berlin was affirmed publicly a year ago, it's interesting to note that the Philharmonic has been expecting a signed contract for some time - and that a signed contract it does not have.
Various representatives of the Philharmonic and Rattle have predicted a succession of dates for having a signed deal. The latest was the end of the calendar year - as in six months ago.
And so last week I once again posed the question to a spokeswoman for the Philharmonic: Does the Berlin Philharmonic have a signed contract with Rattle?