Just in: Maestro quits Spain after no-confidence vote

Just in: Maestro quits Spain after no-confidence vote


norman lebrecht

April 16, 2018

The Italian violinist and director Fabio Biondi has resigned as joint music director at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia after musicians called a no-confidence vote in him, and in his co-director Roberto Abbado.

The maestros they would prefer to have are Gustavo Gimeno and Henrik Nánási, not that they are necessarily available.

The Italian intendant Davide Livermore, who appointed Biondi and Abbado, resigned last December.

Valencia is in trouble once again.


  • YoYo Mama says:

    If they have no confidence in Roberto Abbaddo, I don’t know if I have any confidence in them. And isn’t this the Miguel Clares concert hall?

    • Carmen says:

      No, this is the Palau de les Artes in Valencia. The concert hall – actually it’s an opera house – is part of an arts complex designed by the infamous starchitect Santiago Calatrava. It looks like a giant Darth Vadar helmet & has been plagued with structural problems since day one.

  • Bruce says:

    This sounds like a fun game. I would rather be conducted by Riccardo Chailly!

    *closes eyes; wishes really hard*


    • Carmen says:

      And remarkably, it’s a fun game which works. Spain has strong labor laws for tenured musicians which give them a lot of leverage in situations like this.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I hope they’ll get the music directors they deserve.

      • Carmen says:

        Oh, for heaven’s sake no. Absurd. That’s like saying to a Brit or American that any female conductor who happens to speak English as her mother tongue would be a good fit as MD.

        Most orch. players are aware that while Alondra de la Parra has made a big splash with non musicians who don’t know much better, she is not particularly well regarded by the musicians she actually conducts.

        Spain is Europe. It’s not Mexico. Big difference. The Palau de Les Artes, although fraught with problems, holds potential as an important European opera house. Lorin Maazel was the 1st to hold the position of Music Director. Zubin Mehta has been closely enmeshed with the company. It’s a young company & they need someone with that level of experience, not a woman who’s a one hit wonder on Youtube.

        Also, important to keep in mind that the job is in Valencia, which is a very insular region of Spain. They want the importance of a major opera house but they prefer using their own people. There are a handful of terrific, up & coming young Valencian conductors on the scene. Gustavo Gimeno, formerly of Concertgebouw, is one of them. Not sure he’d take the job, but he’s the musicians’ no. 1 pick right now.

  • Carmen says:

    Whew! Very glad to hear that! 🙂

  • Saxon Broken says:

    I am confused. What exactly don’t they like about Roberto Abbado and Fabio Biondi? They seems reasonable choices for Valencia, and not noticeably worse than Gustavo Gimeno and Henrik Nánási.