Sir Simon Rattle receives the Freedom of LiverpoolSep 29 2008

By Claire Ellicott, Liverpool Echo

CONDUCTOR Sir Simon Rattle has returned to his home town to be given the Freedom of Liverpool.

He is one of only five musicians to receive the award, the others being the four members of The Beatles.

He will be presented with the Freedom Scroll of Honour by Lord Mayor Steve Rotheram tomorrow.

Students from Liverpool council?s Music Support Service will sing at the event and he will meet musicians from Notre Dame Catholic College, in Everton, and St Edwards College, in West Derby.

During the visit, Sir Simon will also be performing at the Philharmonic Hall, where he started out as an assistant conductor in 1977.

The 53-year-old conductor assembled his first professional orchestra at the age of 15 and has presided over the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999.

Cllr Rotheram said: ?This very special occasion allows Liverpool to express its gratitude to an outstanding musician, to recognise his great talent and thank him for the incredible contribution he has made to music.?

Other recipients of the Freedom of Liverpool include Ken Dodd, Bob Paisley, Nelson Mandela, Roy Castle and Simon Weston.