Simon Rattle to leave Berlin Philharmonic

Simon Rattle will step down from his Berlin Philharmonic music director post in 2018, the New York Times reports.

“As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles’ question, ‘Will you still need me when I’m 64?’” Mr. Rattle, 57, said in a statement, noting that he will be stepping down just before he reaches that age. “I am sure that then it will be time for somebody else to take on the magnificent challenge that is the Berliner Philharmoniker."

Rattle-Simon-10

No word at the moment about whether Rattle plans to take on directorship of any other orchestra, but he's always been a careful career strategist, and it's safe to assume that he already sees his next assignment on the horizon.

He has long held a special relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and orchestra leaders have signaled an expanding role for the maestro in Philadelphia in coming seasons - possibly with a title.