Breaking: Gatti warns orchestra and media of legal action

Breaking: Gatti warns orchestra and media of legal action


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2018

A statement issued by Daniele Gatti through his lawyer in Torino:



10121 Torino Via Bertolotti n. 2 – Tel. 011/4369069 Fax 436 93 03 00186 Roma Piazza del Porto di Ripetta n.1- tel. 06/32110968


Oggetto: dichiarazione del Maestro Daniele Gatti

Con riferimento all’iniziativa assunta dal Presidente del Consiglio di Amministrazione e dal Direttore Generale della Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam di cessare il rapporto di collaborazione con il Maestro Daniele Gatti, quest’ultimo, mio tramite, tiene a far sapere agli organi di stampa che è esterrefatto e respinge fortemente qualsiasi tipo di accusa.

Il Maestro ha dato mandato ai suoi legali di tutelare la propria reputazione e di intraprendere eventuali azioni qualora tale campagna diffamatoria nei suoi confronti dovesse proseguire.

Distinti saluti.

Torino, 02 agosto 2018


Roughly, in English:

Object: statement by Maestro Daniele Gatti
With reference to the initiative taken by the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the General Director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam to cease the relationship of collaboration with Maestro Daniele Gatti, the latter, my client, wishes to let the media know that he is stunned and strongly rejects any kind of accusation.

The Maestro has instructed his lawyers to protect his reputation and to take any action if this defamatory campaign against him should continue.
Yours sincerely.
Turin, 02 August 2018


  • Ben says:

    This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Gatti and Levine.

    • Conducting Feminista says:

      Gatti and Levine represent the EPIC FAIL past of conductors along with all the men currently out there. Mirga, Hannigan, Karina Canellakis, Marin Alsop, Gemma New, and all the women conductors out there represent the true future of conducting. Conducting is destined to become an all women profession. The male conductor is on its way out.

      • Tamino says:


        • Selim says:

          I think she is absolutely right, none of the 5 big orchestras (LSO, Berlin Phil, Wiener Phil, RCO and Chicago Symph) has a woman as music director, and seeing the talent of the women conductor nowadays this could the perfect time that one of top orchestras shows the world that this decision can be made engaging a woman chief conductor…

          • Tamino says:

            A decision should be made to choose a conductor based on merit and future prospect. Nothing else. Could be a woman, could be a man. Reverse gender discrimination is not the solution, and intelligent people know that.

    • Tamino says:

      Stop the hyperbole. Can’t compare the two cases.
      You know zero about what alleged ‘crimes’ Gatti did.
      From the hearsay so far it was inappropriate flirting.

      So what makes you so sure, you can give that man lying in the floor a strong kick with your shoe?
      This place here is so full of vile people.

  • The View from America says:

    Good luck with that …

    • Saxon Broken says:

      That is what I thought….

      The Washington Post isn’t going to retract its statement, and the RCO isn’t going to reinstate him. Reporting this in the rest of the media is “fair comment”.

  • LK says:

    Gatti or his lawyer saying “Fake News” in 3…2…1…

  • Philippa Ballard says:

    He’s a good looking guy. Why does he (allegedly) have to force himself upon women ? Makes no sense. I thought he would be innundated with offers !

  • boringfileclerk says:

    This will not end well. His own orchestra has come forward with stories. The best he can hope to win is a breach of contract. He can’t regain his reputation.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      There is no chance he will win a case of “breach of contract” if there is credible evidence he sexually harassed employees at the RCO. He would have to show not only are the accusations untrue, but that the RCO could not reasonably believe the accusations to be true. The RCO have implied there are several different cases.

  • La Verita says:

    Gatti needn’t worry: America’s pussy-grabber-in-chief can get him a job conducting the United States Marine Band.

    • Doug says:

      Like I said earlier: the torpedoes the Democrats have been putting in the water for Trump seem to keep turning around and hitting targets on their side.

      • Bill says:

        You said it, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence it is true. Getti is no liberal hero, nor are Preucil, Levine, Dutoit, etc. I’d say it is more likely that those you despise would have a low opinion of such very fine men, who are without a doubt being smeared by a vast left-wing conspiracy made up of their musical inferiors.

        As far as I am concerned, if someone is behaving in a manner unbecoming, I don’t care what their politics are if their employer wants to part ways. You may be an alpha male, but the pack can rip you to shreds faster than you can say “but what about Hillary?”

  • Simon Evnine says:

    From NYT “In 2013 he conducted a new production of Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Metropolitan Opera…..from memory.”

    Blimey, who else (apart from maybe Toscanini) could have done that ?

    • 18mebrumaire says:

      Easy. Just let the leader/concertmaster do the work for you!

      • Sixtus says:

        At many performance I attended at the Met with Levine conducting he would often have a score open but he would never turn the pages. Quite clearly conducting from memory. I’ve seen other conductors do this as well.

      • Sebastian Petit says:

        Stupid, ignorant remark. I saw him conduct that production and it was one of the top 3 Parsifals i’ve heard

    • Bruce says:

      Karajan famously conducted everything from memory. My orchestra’s music director for many years, Fabio Mechetti, conducted most things from memory including complete performances of La Boheme, Carmen, Tosca, Turandot, and Fidelio. (None of those are as big as Parsifal, but together they add up.)

    • Tristan says:

      Karajan conducted always without score with the only that Karajan was one of the greatest ever and Gatti is one of the many most overrated conductors around. Plus conducting by memory doesn’t make a great Maestro, it’s so much more.

      • Isolde says:

        Precisely! Since when conducting by memory is in itself a proof of genius? The important thing is HOW one conducts, and in that department Daniele Gatti is, with all the respect, an overrated crappy conductor. And I am not taking in consideration any #metoo issues here…

      • Yes Addison says:

        To Gatti’s credit, though, when the host of that Parsifal’s HD started fawning over him for conducting a long work without a score (surely part of the host’s script), Gatti downplayed it rather than allowing it to be presented as evidence of his genius. Essentially, he said that conductors have their different methods, a lot of his great colleagues conduct with the score, and it doesn’t mean anything. He’s right. The proof is in the pudding.

        That’s separate from a discussion of Gatti’s merits. I’ve heard a fair amount of him, and some things I’ve liked more than others. He’s not on my list of living favorites, but I don’t think he’s abysmal.

      • Conducting Feminista says:

        Every woman conductor is vastly superior to Karajan, even the young female student conductor. Women are genetically and inherently superior over men in the field of conducting. It is meant to be done by women and NOT by men.

        • Sebastian Petit says:

          Oh dear god.Do you really not see how this sort of idiocy scuppers the case for more women conductors?

          • Derek says:


            Ignore ‘Conducting Feminista’ who is a troll, almost certainly male and trying to cause trouble.

            Leave him to waste his own time!

          • Anon says:

            Agree. “Conducting Feminista” is a vengeful male who is simply mocking this situation. With a decidedly British sense of humor, incidentally. He is a troll. Just ignore him.

          • Conhuevos says:

            Yes, most obviously Feminista is a troll. Imagine Vivaldi, Haydn, Wagner, Paganini, Berlioz, Saint Saens, Bernstein, and a few more historical figures having to endure the current “me too” climate….

    • Pedro says:

      He conducted Parsifal without th3 score in Zurich too, as far as I can remember.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Knappertsbusch, when asked whether he had the score in front of him when conducting, answered “Of course, I can read music”.

  • barry guerrero says:

    I’m disappointed. I was looking forward to some genuinely interesting and intense Mahler from him and the Concertgebouw (the Jansons/Concertgebouw Mahler is near definitive, but also dull as dirt). I love the recent Mahler 4 with Gatti on the RCO Live label.

  • Anon says:

    The really interesting part of this will be the guest conductor line up they get to replace him. Keep us posted, Norman

    • MacroV says:

      I suspect they’ll find a number of A-list conductors who are willing to find a free week here and there. Maybe time for some belated debuts, too?

      • Jeff says:

        And, not coincidentally, various lower-level orchestras will announce the replacement of A-list guest conductors due to “scheduling conflicts.”

        • Anon says:

          This should be a job bonanza for up and coming conductors. And A list conductors looking for great opportunities.

          I am trying to think who they might call first. I’d say Lionel Bringuier, who’s relatively unoccupied might be high on the list. Maybe also their own home-grown talent – former Concertgebouw Princ. Oboe Lucas Macias or Former Concertgebouw Principal Timpani Gustavo Gimeno, both with fast rising international conducting careers.

          • Conducting Feminista says:

            Mark my words, the next conductor of this great orchestra will be a young and beautiful woman, most likely blonde.

  • barry guerrero says:

    Please, please, please . . . not Michael Tilson Thomas. That’s all I ask.

    • Bruce says:

      Hahahaha… I hadn’t even thought of that.

      But now that I have: please, Lord, no.

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Uh….why not? I won’t call MTT one of the greatest podium talents ever, but over the years I’ve heard a lot of very fine performances from him. And he’s got the San Francisco Symphony sounding better than it ever has……

    • Derek says:


      Michael Tilson Thomas is a conductor that always divides opinion strongly, when mentioned.

      I have only seen him once (with San Francisco Symphony) so am not in the best position to say why that is, but evidently he is an acquired taste.

    • Doug says:

      Not unless a bunch of little poodles step forward to say they’ve been sexually assaulted too.

      • Sue says:

        Poodles? Phooey. Snowflakes more like: I’m a special princess because mummy told me so. And Tarquin told me so too.

    • Alan Millar says:

      MTT would be the best possible choice. His repertoire plays to the strengths of the Concertgebouw. He is conducting Mahler 9 next year with the Vienna Philharmonic as part of his “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall, and I look forward to seeing it.

      • barry guerrero says:

        MTT’s Mahler becomes more affected by the moment. In S.F., he’s repeating the same rep. over and over. When he’s not, he’s conducting modern stuff – Bates, Stuckey – that most people just don’t want to hear. He’s had his day, and he was certainly never a Blomstedt.

  • kuma says:

    Oh bummer. I was looking forward to seeing them next year. 🙁

  • boringfileclerk says:

    Whoever is appointed, I hope it’s a transgendered conductor.

  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    Isn’t Gatti the guy who went medieval on a Florida audience for giving his group a standing ovation? Early 2000s I think.

  • Rob says:

    Good for him. And doesn’t the orchestra have a whistleblowing policy ?

  • Feurich says:

    Well, he may be innocent. Accusations are not the same as as a trial, as sworn testimony, as judgment by neutral arbiters.

  • Mark says:

    Good for him. I wonder what the Italian and/or Dutch defamation laws are like. In the US, defamation is extremely difficult to prove.

  • Klaas Damhof says:

    Please not Christian Thielemann. For Gods sake.

  • Karmadon says:

    Guys, stop worrying: it’s gonna be the amnipresent and omnipotent Gergiev…

  • Peter says:

    Karina Canellakis.

    • Anthony Kershaw says:

      Just saw her in London conducting the super average BBC Symphony in Beethoven at the Proms. It (and she) was dreadful.

      Mirga and Hannigan. Now we’re talking.

      • Me says:

        By which one can infer that her terrific Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances with the well-above-average BBC SO later that evening just flew right by you, huh? Rather her than the other two (especially Mirga, whose preening, ultra-mannered LvB 5 at last year’s Proms was well-nigh unendurable)!

  • Pedro says:

    Cornelius Meister conducted a superb Parsifal in Antwerp last season.

    • david hilton says:

      Meister would be my choice as well. A brilliant young conductor (38), and not someone coasting on his/her youth and charisma

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    We need to have a conductor who is a trangender castrati who has been living in a Cave in Cappadochia Turkey for the past few decades.

    All other conductors will most likely not have clean hands…

    And by the way, I am available for any young female conductor to be sexually harassed. I am more than willing to take a hit for the sake of equality.

  • Anon says:

    This is a landmark situation: an American “morality” movement (#metoo) which is being applied in a European setting (Concertgebouw). I never thought I’d see this happen. I’ve always assumed that Europeans were very tolerant & non-judgemental on all matters sexual and that “metoo” would never be taken seriously by Europeans. God save the Dutch!

    • MacroV says:

      All this and you still don’t get it: This isn’t about sex; it’s about abuse of power, creation of a hostile work atmosphere, etc.. How Americans vs. the Dutch view the activities of two consenting adults in their own private space is totally irrelevant to the goings-on here.

      • Malcolm James says:

        True, but there does seem to be a lack of due process, which I find.worrying. The CO have suspended Preucil pending the outcome of an investigation, which is the right way to go about it. I know this Gatti is not an employee, but the RCO is likely to be in breach of contract unless they can show good cause for terminating it, which requires more than mere allegation.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Malcolm writes: “which requires more than mere allegation”

          Err…no, it doesn’t. The RCO just has to show the allegations are serious and credible, and that they affect his ability to do the job. It seems the RCO conducted its internal investigation and decided to act.

      • Tamino says:

        So far all we know is a womanizer boss flirted, maybe a bit aggressively, with some female employees. Some women complained, after being encouraged by a Washington Post article. They didn’t feel the need to report anything before that. In the Netherlands, where there is certainly no danger for women who report sex offenders.
        Let’s keep it real.
        It all sounds a bit like much ado about nothing. Except for the boss who got ‘executed’ on the spot without due process.

        • CGDA says:

          Tamino, no one should be flirting, especially repeatedly, at work. This is very different though to sex abuse as was hinted in some other musicians’ cases.

        • JRM says:

          At last, Tamino, the voice of sanity. The presumption of Gatti’s guilt in most of these and other postings is staggering. Almost as staggering as the presumption of innocence on the part of the alleged plaintives.

  • Arameo says:

    The level of the Japanese Chinese and Asian orchestras, maybe south America too will increase enormously with Dutoit Gatti Levine and the list will grow!

  • CGDA says:

    As far as I know, there has been no police investigation and there has been no judge verdict. How long did the Concertgebouw take before they came up with a decision? Misconduct claims would usually take many weeks to

    I hope that this case is pursued legally as only when the case is finished will one be assured that justice has been fully delivered.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Irony: today (sunday 5th August) Dutch national TV broadcoast a RCO concert with Gatti where he gave beautiful, romantic, round and fat interpretations of Debussy’s Faun prelude and La Mer, in which he gave the tenderest attention to sensitive details, a quality he apparently did not spend on the players themselves.