Mourning for an Italian maestro, 75

Mourning for an Italian maestro, 75


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2021

Rome Opera has announced the death of its former music director Gianluigi Gelmetti.

A busy freelance maestro, Gelmetti held few regular positions, He was Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestr and the Schwetzingen Festival, 1989-1998. From 2000 to 2009 he was in charge at Rome Opera. From 2004 to 2008, he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and for five years from 2012 he was chief of the Orchestre Philharmonique in his home town, Monte-Carlo.

He died of lung cancer.


  • Simone says:

    The best teacher many of us could have, a fantastic Rossini conductor, a great human being, though not easy.

    Rest in peace Maestro.

  • Vittorio Parisi says:

    Rest in peace my teacher and great friend. I owe you all I did in music.

  • He also taught conducting at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. My favorite quote of his was “Pulita la gesticulation! Non vogliamo gli direttori sporchi.” 🙂

    • Paul Mauffray says:

      apologies for my poor spelling of Italian. I should have written
      “Pulita la gesticolazione! Non vogliamo i direttori sporchi.” 🙂

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    A very nice man. He sometimes talked of his earlier ‘Taliban period’ when conducting Rossini. He got more flexible again later.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Ah Gianluigi- happy memories of Academia Chigiana. Great conductor & teacher

  • Antonio says:

    I’m afraid this and many other media or blogs, have not given the proper account of the artistic magnitude of Mr Gelmetti, whose teaching outburst I suffered many times as a student. Here’s just a small glimpse of what he is capable of with a youth orchestra with Schubert 9: