Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Venue Hunt Begins for New Concert Hall to Lure Rattle Back to London; CITY CORPORATION INSPIRED BY TOP CONDUCTOR'S CALL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Venue Hunt Begins for New Concert Hall to Lure Rattle Back to London; CITY CORPORATION INSPIRED BY TOP CONDUCTOR'S CALL

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy and Louise Jury

THE City of London today responded to Sir Simon Rattle's clarion call for a new concert hall in the capital by announcing it will start scouting out possible venues.

In a landmark move, the corporation's policy chairman Mark Boleat revealed he decided to act after meeting the renowned conductor and being struck by his "passion" for the project.

At the same time Boris Johnson, leaders of the Barbican and other senior figures in the arts expressed enthusiasm for the idea.

Their stance brings a step closer Sir Simon's vision of a world-class concert hall with acoustics worthy of the capital's great orchestras and musicians. Mr Boleat told the Standard: "Having met Sir Simon again recently, I see the passion he brings to this cause.

"Sometimes an individual can make the difference and I am persuaded that the City of London Corporation should be looking for a potential venue within the Square Mile for this globally important concert hall project."

The idea will need funding as well as agreement among rival London arts organisations on location and how it would operate.

However, the involvement of the elected City of London Corporation which owns and founded the Barbican Centre, home of the London Symphony Orchestra will focus the debate.

Sir Simon, one of the most inspiring conductors of the age, has led the Berlin Philharmonic since 1999 and thrilled crowds with a London residency at the Barbican and the Southbank Centre that ended on Sunday. He is tipped to take over the LSO but has made clear that his price would include a concert venue with state-ofthe-art acoustics. The City of London Corporation is working on developing the north-west Square Mile as a global cultural hub, served by the major Crossrail stations that are due to open in Moorgate and Farringdon.

Also, the Guildhall School has added new facilities near Moorgate and the London Film School is to move into Beech Street.

The Barbican board's chairman John Tomlinson expressed strong interest in the concert hall scheme when he spoke at the Centre's annual dinner last night. …

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