Just in: Gatti says he will sue the Dutch

Just in: Gatti says he will sue the Dutch


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2019

Message from the Maestro’s lawyers:

Maestro Gatti has learnt with much surprise about the interviews given by Jan Raes to the Press over the last weeks, as the parties had agreed that no statements would have been made pending discussions between their respective legal teams.

In addition, while he reserves the right to tell his side of the story, Maestro Gatti wishes to specify that the statements made by Mr Raes do not correspond to the truth and underlines as follows:

– As soon as he was informed of the intention of the Washington Post to publish an article which involved him, he immediately informed the RCO; – The article was published on July 26, 2018;

– From that moment onwards, he underwent several interviews with the RCO, without legal assistance, and all such interviews never concerned matters related to the RCO but only and exclusively the allegations of the Washington Post. All such interviews were conducted with an accusatory view, notwithstanding the fact that Maestro Gatti always denied that the events had taken place as described in the American newspaper;

– Only by reading the RCO statement published on August 2, 2018, did he learn about alleged “inappropriate experiences with female members of the RCO”. Such statement is considered as having untrue, offensive and defamatory contents;

– Following the contract termination, which the lawyers of Maestro Gatti immediately challenged on August 3, 2018, the latter have requested a meeting with the RCO management. Such meeting was only granted in the month of November 2018;

– During such meeting, which took place in Amsterdam on November 19, 2018, the lawyers of Maestro Gatti requested to be shown, under duty of confidentiality, the results of the internal investigation allegedly carried out by the RCO, but were denied such request;

– Also, in the course of the meeting Jan Raes was specifically questioned about the “inappropriate” behaviours of Maestro Gatti and he denied that such behaviours could have been qualified as sexual misconduct; – After the meeting, negotiations ensued between the legal teams, which led to the preparation of a joint statement. Such statement has not been made public also because Maestro Gatti did not accept to waive his request to obtain compensation. Discussions have stalled but have never been declared officially over;

– The RCO has terminated the contract with Maestro Gatti and made public accusations against him without informing him. He has been denied his right of defence from accusations that he deems unjust and that he strongly rejects.

In light of the recent statements rendered by Jan Raes to the Press, Maestro Gatti has no alternative but to acknowledge that the RCO management has no intention to reach an amicable settlement and that he will be forced to act accordingly.
Alberto Borbon
Matteo Guidotti



  • Caravaggio says:

    Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d.
    Nor Hell a fury, like a man scorn’d.

    • Robert Groen says:

      Oh, forPete’s sake, shut up Caravaggio! You’re not contributing anything!

    • Bone says:

      Wonder if you will be as flippant if Gatti is able to get his accusers in open court cross examination.
      Bout time the #metoo movement had its day in court.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The central point of G’s defense is that his actions – whatever they have been – could not be construed as ‘sexual misconduct’. So, it is all a matter of interpretation. But I know from inside information that he did cross some lines of generally-appliccable behavior in the workplace, which cannot be reduced to mere national customs (being Italian) or the privileges of artists (it’s just his temperament). Anyway, a conductor who makes his players feel uncomfortable because of crossing ego boundaries, is in the wrong. Whether a conductor should be ‘fired’ for such reasons, is another matter.

  • Rgiarola says:


  • shaking my head says:

    Much to question in the lawyer-speak. One can’t be certain, but it would appear that his lawyers are laying a lot of highly public bull on the Concertgebauw to make Gatti look better.

    1. Especially rich: “Discussions have stalled but have never been declared officially over…” It’s been about three months with no new communications. In other words, create an indefinite limbo so the orchestra has to remain silent for the rest of eternity.

    2. Jan Raes and the orchestra would not have fired him if they thought his actions weren’t “inappropriate.” They’re really flailing there.

    3. It is highly suspect that Gatti was not told the gist of the orchestra members’ allegations against him . And highly unlikely the orchestra would have dismissed him without substantial, corroborated complaints.

    4. The allegations published by the WP were carefully researched and vetted by the papers lawyers. They alone would justify dismissal due to the damage to the orchestra’s image.

    5. The orchestra can make public statements regardless of what compensation agreements have or have not been made, especially when Gatti hasn’t communicated with them for weeks. And the orchestra has no obligation to inform Gatti about their public statements about him.

    6. It seems highly unlikely that the orchestra would fire him without having heard his side of the story — a highly suspect posturing of reverse victimhood.

    7. There is no substantial indication that the orchestra is opposed to an amicable agreement. It seems more likely that Gatti’s demands are simply unacceptable to them.

    Is the strategy here to lay a lot of vociferous, aggressive, widely distributed stink on the orchestra to cover his own alleged unprofessional behavior? Or is the Maestro the victim of a massive conspiracy by evil women?

    • barry guerrero says:

      I think it’s a two-way street among the lawyers.

    • Testi says:

      “Victimhood”. Tells everything.

      Communities of musicians used to be about art, seduction, power, clans, solidarity, ideals, crisis, love, hate, triumphs…
      It recently became all about victimhood and “reverse victimhood”.
      In Amsterdam as well as in Montreal or the Met or Philadelphia or Davis or London… … … … (list growing every morning).
      Who’s the tormentor, who’s the victime (considering that sex out of strict marriage unions has a genuine taste of abuse, and that every woman is a victim until every man’s lawyer can prove she is not. Can he ?).
      Little Ridinghoods chasing atrocious Big Weinsteins in the darkness of woodwinds.

      Orchestras worse than convents : shut them all down before apocalypse !

  • Gareth Jones says:

    At the risk of being very dull, the statement doesn’t say legal action is following – solely the usual anodyne lawyer-speak. I’m guessing but I think this week will precipitate a settlement.

    Oddly, though, Gatti already seems out of sorts at Rome Opera…

  • Rob says:

    I hope he does sue.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      He would almost certainly be humiliated, having no case. And his actions would then be in the public domain. His best course of action is to “move-on” and hope, in time, what has happened is forgotten.

  • Nancy van Dijke says:

    Wat een amateuristische en regelrecht immorele aanpak van Raes in deze. Men zal de buidel wel moeten trekken als dit voor de rechter komt. Niet betaald uit het salaris van Raes (drie ton per jaar), maar door ons allen (gemeenschapsgeld). Met dank aan deze nieuwbakken “baron”.

    • Ken Weiss says:

      Laten wij veronderstellen de lawyers vd KCO an airtight case hebben; dan is er geen rechter, geen settlement, geen geld.
      Misbruik maken van zijn machtspositie ?
      To take liberties with that famous quote from Capt Renault[Casablanca]: I am shocked- shocked- to find that sexual misconduct is going on in here!
      [it simply never happens . . . anywhere!]

  • Sharon says:

    Is he trying to emulate James Levine? Gatti should be aware that the legal proceedings will drag on a couple of years and I wonder if, unlike Levine, he has enough money to stick it out. He should probably just take whatever money is offered and run.

  • barry guerrero says:

    The Concertgebouw should get back to worrying about music and musical housekeeping. I’d like to know why Mariss Jansons sounds like a completely different conductor when he’s in Munich. While his many recordings with the Concertgebouw are beautiful sounding, they also sound straight-jacketed and dull as dish water. I can’t consider them – the Concertgebouw – the best in the world until they play with some genuine fire and intensity. It ain’t there (except with Gatti).

    • Christopher Storey says:

      Has the Concertgebouw Orchestra ( as opposed to the hall itself ) ever been better than second rate, at least since the days of van Beinum ? It seems to have a current death wish ; I cannot agree more with barry’s sentiments

  • Sharon says:

    I wonder if Gatti or his lawyers are trying to emulate James Levine’s tactics.

    Although I am not very familiar with how the law works in Europe I suspect that , like in Levine’s case, if Gatti goes through with it, that such a case would drag on for a couple of years.

    Levine has the money for it. I am not sure if Gatti does. It might be better if Gatti would just take whatever settlement money is offered and run

  • Tamino says:

    It’s strange Gatti’s lawyers refer to him as ‘Maestro Gatti’, since in legal terms such colloquial idolising terminology is irrelevant.

  • Patrick says:

    Go Gatti! The arrogant and the liars must pay