The U.K.-born Rattle took up the job in London in 2017 after 15 years as head of the Berlin Philharmonic. He said when the appointment was announced in 2015 that it would be his last major job in music.
News of his departure was lamented by many in the British arts community, who worry the country will lose cultural clout because of its departure from the European Union.
Rattle said his reasons for taking the job in Munich were “entirely personal, enabling me to better manage the balance of my work and be close enough to home to be present for my children in a meaningful way.”
Although Rattle’s exit is not directly linked to Brexit, but the lack of a world-class concert hall in London may be a factor. Rattle took up the London job in expectation that a new home would be built for the orchestra, which is currently based at the Barbican center, a multipurpose arts venue.
Plans for a new concert hall in London have stalled. In a statement, LSO chairman David Alberman and managing director Kathryn McDowell said Rattle “will be taking forward a number of significant projects with us over the coming years working from our home base at the Barbican.”