Simon Halsey becomes Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and LSO choir from 1st August. This is significant news as Halsey's one of the most acclaimed chorus leaders in the business. He's been the chorus director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for decades, working with Simon Rattle, when he was CBSO's chief conductor. When Rattle moved to Berlin, Halsey went with him (while retaining his place in Birmingham). Halsey remains with the Berlin Radio Choir, but plans to spend more time inn the UK, where he's taking up a post at the University of Birmingham. It's also significant news for the London choral scene as a whole, since Halsey's presence at the LSO could shake things up a bit, in a positive way. The LSO says, coyly, that he will "enable the London Symphony Orchestra to develop its choral activity, from the LSO Discovery Youth and Community Choirs at LSO St Luke's and the LSO's Singing Days, which offer the public the opportunity to join in choral activities related to the LSO's season repertoire." Does this mean ambitious new ventures? Certainly Halsey raises the stakes for all.