Concertgebouw hints at next conductor

Concertgebouw hints at next conductor


norman lebrecht

January 25, 2019

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will launch its own European youth orchestra this summer.

Given the ghastly title ‘RCO Young’ and made up of pan-European players aged 14 to 17, it will perform the Mendelssohn concerto and Tchaikovsky 4 in Amsterdam and Brussels under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado, it was announced today.

The Spanish conductor is presently under-employed as principal guest conductor at Teatro Real in Madrid and director of the Granada Festival. He has to be added to the shortlist for the C’bouw’s next music director.


  • Pedro says:

    Chung will be conducting the two RCO concerts in the 2020 Mahler festival. This could be an indication.

  • Bruno Monterrey says:

    I think very good conductors get jobs, so if Heras-Casado hasn’t got any job as chief conductor or Music Director, it is not because he is under-employed but overrated instead…
    We talk here of a youth orchestra , and not taking the RCO on tour or so…. so he is obviously not a candidate.

    • Dimitri Vassilakis says:

      Congratulations ! You are absolutely right. He is totally overrated . I played under his baton a few times and can attest that he hardly knew his scores …

    • JohnC says:

      Definitely overrated.

    • Jean says:

      Before criticising, you should listen to him. Try his Mendelssohns. And then we can talk.
      There are plenty of overrated conductors who actually do have an orchestra : Jaap, Alondra, Eschenbach, etc.

  • He is a great conductor. But the RCO? I doubt it.
    I had interviewed him three years ago. It’s in Dutch:

  • Couperin says:

    Word is they couldn’t stand him at St. Lukes in NYC. He pretended to be a big shot. Arrogant.

  • Manu says:

    Not so easy to substitute Gatti, after all…

    Heras: please, stop that joke!

  • Harrumph says:

    Oh look, another orchestra that MUST have its own Dudamel clone.

  • Raymond Chan says:

    Oh, thanks. I only see him doing Mahler 9 in one concert, what’s the other one?

    So just waiting for the announcement of the conductor for Mahler 3 concert.

    • Max Grimm says:

      The announcements have been made and he is conducting both, the 3rd and the 9th. If you click on the specific concert, it shows all pertinent information (date, time, location & performers). For Mahler 3:
      “Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest

      Groot Omroepkoor

      Nationaal Kinderkoor

      Myung-Whun Chung

      Gerhild Romberger

  • Bruckner says:

    Pabko HC as well as many other outstanding conductors are indeed underemployed and it seems this is the result of dominance of certain agents whose conductor clients are dominating the scene with 50 to 100 concerts a year and the rush to engage very young conductors who are not yet ripe musically.

  • Red Oboe says:

    He is a fine example of a “cool conductor”: married to a TV celebrity, young-ish, very active on social media, metrosexual image… he has it all, except conducting talent. He got where he is because his agency pushed him into every major #orchestra.

  • MacroV says:

    Conducting a youth orchestra is not a harbinger of who is going to get the big job. And there are few bigger jobs. I don’t have a great sense of his stature in the business. Does he have much of a relationship with the RCO? They do have a history of engaging relatively young MDs (Haitink, Chailly…)

  • Tamino says:

    Maybe in 20 years he is good enough.

  • Barry says:

    I saw him guest conduct in Philadelphia and don’t have the impression that he’s up to being chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw.

  • Anon says:

    He had a very successful debut at the LSO. Just saying.