Simon Rattle Calls Out Birmingham City Council Following Fund Cuts to Arts

By Francisco Salazar

Sir Simon Rattle is speaking out against the funding cuts made in Birmingham this past month.

The conductor told the Observer, that he is calling on “Westminster ­politicians not to allow classical music and the wider arts to be forgotten as a ­growing number of city and county councils face bankruptcy and decide to ‘defund’ the arts.”

He added, “My time at Birmingham made my musical life. I’m so proud of what they have been, and how they have developed since then. I realize now I was in a kind of golden age, with both ­political parties in the city supporting the arts and building a concert hall.”

The comments come following the Birmingham Opera Company’s loss of 50 percent of its grant from Birmingham City Council this year and 100 percent in the next financial year. The funding loss was also seen for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra among other arts organizations.

Rattle grew up in Liverpool and became music director of the CBSO in 1980, going on to conduct two of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra.