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Rattle Joining Berlin Philharmonic

April 19, 2002

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BERLIN (AP) _ Simon Rattle, promising to inject ``new vitamins″ into the Berlin Philharmonic, opens his first season as chief conductor on Sept. 7 with Thomas Ades’ ``Asyla″ and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Rattle, who takes over from Claudio Abbado, will conduct 43 performances next season, including concerts in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Vienna and the Salzburg Easter Festival, the orchestra said Friday.

``We’ve built an incredible trust together,″ Rattle said, trying out his German at a news conference. ``They reminded me again what a lucky man I am.″

``My challenge is to take care of the wonderful tradition of the Berlin Philharmonic and mix in a few new vitamins,″ he added.

He added that the orchestra will see more earlier and jazz-influenced music performed, while Mozart and Haydn will stand ``at the center of our repertoire.″

``W will try to do everything from the earliest music to music written yesterday,″ he said.

Abbado, who took over after Herbert von Karajan’s death in 1989, is retiring at the end of this season. Rattle was chosen as his successor in June 1999 and signed a 10-year contract last September.

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