Rhinegold Photo credit: Stephan Rabold

Lucy Thraves

Deputy Editor

Simon Rattle steps in to conduct youth orchestra at Verbier

2:56, 3rd August 2018

Simon Rattle stepped in at late notice for conductor Iván Fischer, who had to cancel due to illness.

Fortunately, Rattle was already in Verbier on his summer break, as his wife, leading mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, was in rehearsal at the festival.

The performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 5, given by the Verbier Festival Orchestra of young musicians, took place at the Salle des Combins on 2 August, and was broadcast live on medici.tv, where it remains available to watch at

‘The last thing I expected to find myself doing this summer, before getting back to work with the London Symphony Orchestra next week, was to be conducting Beethoven halfway up a mountain,’ said Rattle. ‘The Verbier Festival Orchestra is made up of some of the world’s finest young musicians, on the brink of their professional careers, so I was delighted to accept the invitation.

‘It’s always so inspiring to work with young musicians and I know that for them, this stepping stone to the professional music world is incredibly valuable.’

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