Friday, 26 November 2010


Four hopeful young people, including two music students and a local composer (obviously fans of the great Sir Simon Rattle), had waited some 30 minutes outside the Esplanade stage door and loading bay in the hope of meeting the Music Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

As soon as that famous silver mop came into view, they were stopped by the Maestro’s manager and handler. “No autographs, no photographs, in order to avoid embarrassment,” said the German stuffed suit to the Esplanade staff on duty, and further added that “these people” should stay clear from the driveway when the official BPO limousine drove through. He was not rude but the officious tone sent a clear message: no one should even come close to or within presence of the grey eminence. Being in Sir Simon Rattle’s breathing space is verboten. So clear off, scram and be gone!

Twenty one years after the events of 9 November 1989, a Brit has successfully re-erected the Berlin Wall.

Perhaps some day, all public concerts by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker should be issued with this advisory:

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker seek your understanding that as an extremely important and busy man, and conductor of “one of the world’s best orchestras”, His Musical Highness does not wish to be in the company of riffraff, hoi polloi, paparazzi, H5N1 supercarriers, lepers und Untermensch. Therefore your chance of getting an autograph is as remote as Madalena Kozena bearing your children. Vielen dank.

Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Rattle

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