Concertgebouw is still split over Gatti’s dismissal

Concertgebouw is still split over Gatti’s dismissal


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2019

Two reports in the Volkskrant newspaper reveal discomfort among the musicians at last year’s sacking of Daniele Gatti. Among other confessions: three months after his dismissal, 26 out of 118 musicians sent the conductor a solidarity email.

Read here and here.



  • NYMike says:

    Something about cookies in Dutch – couldn’t get in.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Yes, I hoped they weren’t the hash ones!!

      Some people are standing up for Gatti? Well, they’re next for the salt mines.

    • Bruce says:

      I got in by clicking the word that looks pretty much like “accept.”

    • John Borstlap says:

      The centrality of cookies in Holland is an old tradition, stemming from the 17th century, a way of keeping out foreigners. They even tried it as defense measure against the French in 1672 and again in 1792, and it kept out the Germans in 1914, but it did no longer work in 1940.

      • Bill says:

        LOL!!! A mere thumbs-up would be insufficient…

      • MWnyc says:

        John, which were more effective as defensive weapons – speculoos or stroopwafels?

        • John Borstlap says:

          It was always the early cooky form of ‘stroopwafels’ which were very sticky, so that anything taken into one’s hands afterwards, became incapacitated. Also, eating these things glued one’s mouth for hours so that military leaders were prevented from shouting orders.

  • anon says:

    26 men?

  • Patrick says:

    Not only the orchestra, we, as free human beings, are uncortable too, to say the least!

  • Bruce says:

    Via Google Translate (sorry, this is very long):

    It is in early November 2018 and Daniele Gatti opens his inbox. He has mail: he reads a photographed letter signed by 26 musicians from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. They send a sign of empathy to the conductor who, they think, may have been wrongly taken away from their lives.

    Not everyone is happy with the action. “Unbelievably stupid,” says a colleague in early February 2019, on the eve of an American tour. Friday the 15th of February the orchestra will play in Carnegie Hall, New York. “If you send such a letter, you create two camps, even if you mean it well. We have to radiate unity. “…. (removed for copyright reasons)

  • BP says:

    Dutch media certainly took their time getting actual reports on this story.

  • jan neckers says:

    That’s not completely true. De Volkskrant notes that 26 musicians had the courage to sign. Several of their colleagues agreed with them but hadn’t the courage. Five musicians (representative for the orchestra according to De Volkskrant) spoke out anonimously. They are not allowed to speak out their mind as all interviews have to be cleared with the press service. The chairman of the board already told another newspaper that it would have been better if somebody outside the organisation had looked into all allegations.

  • observer says:

    Given the nature of orchestras, and the severity of being fired, 26 out of 118 it not very impressive. Only 22% objected. Yet further condemnation for Gatti it seems. It would be interesting to know the m/f ratio of the signatories. At least two thirds men I suspect, probably more.

    • Karl says:

      If you read the article you would have seen it say : “What is striking is that a number of musicians (sex does not seem to play a role in this) do not believe that the alleged misbehaves were heavy enough for the termination of the contract.”

      It looks like a metoo overreaction to me.

    • Tamino says:

      26 out of 118 had the guts to sign. We can reasonably conjure, that many more are in support of such position, yet are afraid of repercussions if they sign with their real name. So I wouldn’t whisk this away as a minority opinion. It might well be the majority of the orchestra is more leaning that way than the other.

  • John Borstlap says:

    As explained before, the whole incident is merely a sad cultural misundertanding. In Holland, there are some peculiar social customs which can be difficult to understand for outsiders, of which the most important is that Dutch people bluntly say what they think and what they mean, without niceties. So, when people say things like: “Keep your hands off!” “Don’t touch my butt!” “I don’t want your hand in my pants!” or: “Don’t lock that door!” they really mean these things. A source of much confusion and puzzlement, especially in music life, for non-Dutch musicians.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      In my day “don’t touch the merchandise” accompanied by a firm slap on the wrist was enough to deter the most foolhardy idiot. And nanny wasn’t even there to help me. How in the world did we all manage to survive?

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    He’s gone and it’s time to move on. I’d rather that this hadn’t happened, but it did. I’d like to see them make a wise musical decision going forward.

  • Thielemannfan says:

    Gatti will conduct Mahler 5 and Saint-Säens 1 with Sol Gabetta in Dresden