Breaking: Daniele Gatti is fired by the Concertgebouw

Breaking: Daniele Gatti is fired by the Concertgebouw


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2018

Following allegations of sexual misconduct in the Washington Post:

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra terminates cooperation with chief conductor Daniele Gatti

Dear Sir,

We attach great value to inform you that the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has terminated the cooperation with chief conductor Daniele Gatti with immediate effect.

On 26 July, the Washington Post published an article in which Gatti was accused of inappropriate behavior. These accusations and Gatti’s reactions with this respect have caused a lot of commotion among both musicians and staff, as well as stakeholders both at home and abroad. Besides this, since the publication of the article in the Washington Post, a number of female colleagues of the Concertgebouw Orchestra reported experiences with Gatti, which are inappropriate considering his position as chief conductor. This has irreparably damaged the relationship of trust  between the orchestra and the chief conductor.

All concerts scheduled with Daniele Gatti will proceed with other conductors.

Kind regards,

Jan Raes – managing director Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

UPDATE: Why the Concertgebouw fired Gatti

UPDATE: Gatti warns orchestra and media of legal action


  • Harald says:

    Over and out for Gatti…

  • Caravaggio says:

    Gatti should have been let go long before any of these allegations. The reason? Terrible, terrible conductor, the kind that’s neither here nor there nor anywhere musically let alone viscerally. The Concertgebouw management should have known better long before day 1.

  • The View from America says:

    The last domino from the Midgette/WaPo article has fallen. What a terrible loss for classical music.


  • Steve says:

    And too bad for their page (a lot of the videos are of Gatti, and some are even pretty good, I hope they keep them there…):

  • Koln says:

    A poisonous person who’s poisoned every environment he’s touched and even those he hasn’t (see the great Scala in Milan).

    A third class conductor and a first class jerk

  • Rob says:

    I think he is quite a good conductor. His recordings of Mahler 4 and 5 are excellent.

    • barry guerrero says:

      Rob, have you heard the recent Mahler 4 with Gatti on the RCO Live label? It’s excellent – vastly more interesting and intense than the Jansons one. I also have a ‘pirate’ of a Mahler 3 that he did at the Concertgebouw that is superb. Again, vastly more interesting and intense than the parallel Jansons.

      I’m hoping they don’t go back to Jansons, but it might be a good idea for the interim. His recordings with the Concertgebouw are near definitive, but often times dull as dirt. For some reason, he comes off as a more involved and spontaneous conductor in Munich. Go figure.

      • Rob says:

        I haven’t. I refer to Gatti’s excellent RPO Mahler 4 & 5. Many plaudits for Ruth Ziesak in the finale of No 4.

        Jansons getting some wonderful colours with the BRSO recently.

  • Vittorio Di Paola says:

    Very Happy of your decision. So I hope Daniele , greatest musician, will be able to come as music director in Rome’s theatre Opera Costanzi as well to Santa Cecilia

  • Jonathan Cable says:

    I went to a Berlin Phil concert allegedly conducted by Gatti. It takes a lot to almost make me fall asleep during Brahms 2, but Gatti got it done. After that experience, I decided that for me, he was one and done.

  • Ben says:

    Great news indeed. The hire itself is a major head scratcher from artistic quality perspective.

  • Iconoclast Advance says:

    “Following allegations of sexual misconduct in the Washington Post”

    So who were the victims at the WP?

    • Bruce says:

      “In” is not the same as “at.”

      (“In” means the accusations of misconduct were published in that newspaper. “At” would mean the misconduct happened among employees of that newspaper.)

      It’s a weird little idiosyncrasy of English.

      • The View from America says:

        Granted, it would have helped if the word “article” had been added to the end of the sentence.

  • Rudolf A. Bruil says:

    The judgement and correctness of the management of the Concertgebouw Orchestra has been criticised before.

    Now it has been decided that the agreement between star conductor Daniele Gatti and the Concertgebouw Orchestra will be cancelled. The management reports that the concerts planned with Gatti are simply going ahead, but are being performed by other conductors.

    The reason is that several ladies reported being assaulted by Gatti (which is different from being raped).
    The women (and the occasional man) who now in the wake of the #MeToo movement suddenly come up with things that happened 20 years ago, are laudable. If you did not file a complaint then because you did not want to harm your career or the career of the conductor, we should not honour your recent complaint with an indignation on our part, with an “Oh how bad”.

    It would have been classy if the management of the Concertgebouw Orchestra had not yielded to the commercial argument in this case and would not have behaved in a politically correct manner, but presented a clear position of Gatti in a press conference and kept the conductor at the helm.

    But yes, that is of no importance to the management. And those two ladies from the Amsterdam orchestra who – inspired and supported by the original article in The Washington Post – have now reported abuse, had nothing with the qualities of this conductor anyway. If you watch Gatti’s videos you can see how well this conductor is liked by the members of the orchestra, men and females alike! And that several performances are quite good.

    • Vittorio Di Paola says:

      Totally agree! Daniele is one of the best wagnerian conductors. In 2020 as first Italian next Toscanini in Bayreuth will conduct a Ring’s new production, after the triumph of the Parsifal. Daniele is one the most required conductors of the world. La Scala, Rome’Opera would like to get him. You were so lucky to have such greatest musician and you fired him for improbable accusations of many years ago, no proofs, nothing. He’s hard towards orchestra’s professors? And what about Toscanini and Muti ? You would have fired them too! Apologise but really stupid behaviour of management. I say that as great music’s supporter and member of board of many Italian institutions. Italians are angry with you for such terrible behaviour.

      • Pedro says:

        I agree with you and according to the Corriere Della Sera Gatti’s contract has been extended for four more years only three weeks ago. All of this is very strange indeed.

      • Raphael says:

        Gatti should be definitely condemned… as a wagnerian conductor.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    I will defend Gatti. He may be an arrogant jerk & yet another conductor who fancies his chances with the opposite sex more than is perhaps morally reprehensible (but lets just wait to hear how serious these allegations are & whether they’d stand up in a court of law or are just fabricated because some members of the orchestra don’t like him- has been known before btw!).

    I’ve seen him many times with the RPO in London- a spectacular concert with Gavrilov in Prokofiev PC 1 & Mozart Symphony 40- beautifully done. The guy is a talented man & the notoriously difficult to please/exacting RCO would have hardly plumped for him if not for his considerable ability. Comparisions with Jansons are useless- a totally different musician & animal.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Brilliant musicians who take their musical prowess as a free pass for improper behavior – which is offensive and dehumanizing for the subject – don’t understand that they are supposed to serve an art form which is supposed to represent the best in man, and not his animal appetites. They betray their mission and violate the art form’s meaning.

      Also, in a time when classical music is under threat by populism and is seen as an elitist hobby for the suppressing classes, such behavior is greatly damaging on a political level, offering supporting governments reasons to cut subsidies.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “more than is perhaps morally reprehensible”

      If the allegations are true and are punishable by law, there’s not much to defend.

      Otherwise: Equality before the law. I don’t care who – wait for it – misconducted (would you defend a baker because you like his bread?). I’m confident that there are more than enough equally talented people out there just waiting to replace him. Ciao bello.

    • Hilary says:

      A nicely balanced post. Why does everything have to be so polarised.

    • V.Lind says:

      Don’t you people get it? Not all these allegations are about courts of law. They are about abuse of power and damaging other people because you want to and you can. They perpetrators are not all going to be jailed, or even fined. They are going to lose reputation and position — which generally means income — which is appropriate punishment for some brutal and abusive but not necessarily criminal behaviours.

      What is problematic is the resolution in this manner on the strength of accusations without investigation. In the end it may come down to “he said…she said…and she, and she, and she…” but I am still disturbed when people are judged on the4 strength of little more than a news article. However it does seem as if people who worked with Gatti have come forward and made comparable claims of abuse by him. How many claims is a company meant to ignore before they become part of the problem?

      Like it or not, there has been a sea-change since the Weinstein allegations. Floodgates have opened. Women have had enough of being treated as the sexual playthings of men with dire ramifications if they refuse (and some abuse-alleging men have come forward in their wake). What is needed now is a way to treat these allegations justly, for the potential for false accusations does exist. But it is not going to be arrived at while some men, and women like the poster Sue, act as if none of the allegations has any merit, or that even if true they do not matter, or that as long as a guy is a talented musician it should not be of consequence.

      • #metwo says:

        Thanks! „In dubio pro reo“ seems to be out of order. No further investigations, no proof – just some accusations are enough to end someones career…..

        • V.Lind says:

          The Latin tag you cite finds for the accused when there is doubt — as does English common law. What’s your point?

          At some point employers or others in charge have to make determinations based on investigation — which is really all courts do, albeit employers etc. do not have the certification of judges (and as the US prepares to decide yet another Supreme Court judge based on his politics, doesn’t that give us pause). If enough people for whom they have responsibility claim some sort of abuse or exploitation, there is clearly a problem. As most of these men seem to deny it — and judging by the attitudes of some of the men here — and Sue — that’s hardly surprising, there is an issue of fairness to consider. But there is a culture, even on here, of blaming women for the aggressive and unwanted actions of men, and shrugging it all off with a “men will be men” laugh. Well, a few not so good men are going to find out that women will be women, and they may not like it.

  • Conducting feminista says:

    This is a clear sign that the female takeover of the conducting profession is getting started. In a few years, all conductors will be women.

    • Tamino says:

      Oh, and while we are at it, let’s burn all scores from male composers too and replace them with scores created by women.
      I need to read that book again by great leader Mao, how such cultural revolutions are executed the best way.

  • Martain Smith says:

    I daresay many of an earlier generation can grin in their graves that they’re long gone and don’t have to face all this. Somewhere I remember a tale fo a maestro, sopranos, and white minks!
    Fortunately, we still have their discs if not their necks!

    • martain smith says:

      I daresay many of an earlier generation can grin in their graves that they’re long gone and don’t have to face all this. Somewhere I remember a tale of a maestro, sopranos, and white minks!
      Fortunately, we still have their discs if not their necks!

  • Conducting Feminista says:

    Gatti deserved to be fired because he is a MAN and a PERVIE WANKER! ALL male conductors should be fired from their conducting jobs and be replaced by women. Conducting is becoming an all women profession.

    • Tamino says:

      How about concentration camps for all men? Hard labor and no women around. That will teach those subhumans. They are a disgrace to mankind.

      • The View from America says:

        “How about concentration camps for all men? Hard labor and no women around.”

        That’ll just set things up for a different sort of sexual harassment — the YoYoMama kind.

  • Anthony Kershaw says:

    Any man who teaches in his RCO masterclasses that the fast 5/8 bars in the Shrovetide Fair in Petrouchka should be conducted in 2 (1/2/3 1/2 and 1/2 1/2/3) rather than 1 in a bar simply cannot be trusted 😉

    • Trevor S. says:

      The question of orchestra and tempo, not the conductor. Don’t forget that Stravinsky is the rhythm-man. So the obvious accents on 12 123 and 123 12 should take place.
      Otherwise there is no need to divide in 5 the simple 3/4 beat.
      Another talk is in the end (Masquerade). Different rhythmos in 5/8 should be conducted in 1

  • Pedro says:

    Last news: Honecker and Haitink will conduct the next Gatti concerts in Amsterdam and Lucerne.

  • Pedro says:

    Not Honecker… Honeck. Sorry!