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Berlin Philharmonic fails to elect new chief conductor

Despite more than 10 hours of deliberations, members of the Berlin Philharmonic have failed to select their new maestro. The successor will replace Britain's Sir Simon Rattle when his contract ends in 2018.

The orchestra's 124 permanent musicians gathered together on Monday at the Protestant Jesus Christ Church in Berlin's southwest where they held a secret ballot for one of the most prestigious jobs in classical music. It is the only orchestra in the world where the musicians chose their chief conductor themselves.

Following several rounds of voting, however, the musicans failed to elect their next maestro with a clear majority.

Speculation around Philharmonic's next chief conductor has grown in recent weeks, with chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann and music directorof the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel among the possible names.

Founded in 1882, the Berlin Philharmonic is seen by many as the best orchestra in the world. Over the past six decades, the orchestra has had just three chief conductors: Herbert von Karajan from 1954 to1989, Claudio Abbado until 2002, and current maestro Sir Simon Rattle.

The 60-year-old is set to take over as chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra when his contract with the Berlin Philharmonic comes to an end in 2018.

ksb/bw (dpa, AFP, AP)

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