Breaking: Dresden votes for Gatti

Breaking: Dresden votes for Gatti


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2022

Musicians of the Staatskapelle Dresden has voted unanimously for Daniele Gatti to succeed Christian Thielemann as chief conductor.

Gatti, 60, has been music director of Rome Opera and Maggio Musicale in Florence, following his dismissal by the Concertgebouworkest in connection with allegations of inappropriate sexual activity.

The state of Saxony will now approach him with a contract offer.

The incoming state opera director Nora Schmid said the musicians had chosen a maestro ‘who, due to his enormous musical experience and his pleasure in a diverse repertoire, will set the tone in opera and concerts both in Dresden and on international stages.

Thielemann will leave in 2024.


  • Gustavo says:

    This part of Germany is often referred to as “The valley of the clueless”.

    They seem to have adopted Haitink’s opinion on Gatti’s excommunication in Amsterdam.


  • Rob says:

    A great choice and he’s an expert Mahlerian. Thielemann – see ya and don’t come back!

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    The troubles days in Amsterdam are far now for him. I will not say that it’s a scandal because I don’t exactly what he did in Amsterdam. And we will never know. But the Staatskapelle Dresden is a very very house.

  • V.Lind says:

    No sex, please, we’re German.

  • Alain Louy says:

    Merveilleuse nouvelle !

  • tet says:

    So it’s back again to an Italian, after Luisi and Sinopoli, in between Haitink and Thielemann.

    Dresden seems to like to swing between North and South.

  • Tamino says:

    Hmmm, in that case, why not stay married to Thielemann? What has been achieved by that change?

  • Pedro says:

    Great news. The best choice by the musicians of one of the five best orchestras in the world. I hope to go to their Mahler 9 with Gatti next month at the superb Semperoper.

  • Manu says:

    He is just the best.

  • Richard O'Shea says:

    I’m disappointed. Very much so.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m hopeful that this will be the match that it potentially could be. It’ll require Mr. Gatti to restrain himself and be as professional as he possibly can be (he has enormous talent). On the other end, it’ll require the Dresdeners to keep an open mind in mind in terms of repertoire and programming (I think). It might work. If I were DG, I’d be knocking on the door (they won’t be).

  • SK says:

    This is a potentially excellent appointment. The Dresden Staatskapelle is one of the world’s best orchestras and merits a conductor on its musical level. There aren’t many of those around today.

    In his past work with the Royal Phil and French National, and in his guest stints in New York, Boston, and elsewhere, Gatti has shown a level of expressive musicianship that is uncommon among today’s conductors.

    Behavior that was said to be common in Italy when Gatti was young is unacceptable today, and rightly so. One hopes he has learned from his mistakes and won’t repeat them.

    Gatti deserves a second chance, and the musical world needs a conductor of his artistry.

  • william osborne says:

    Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Saxony is a stronghold of Germany’s far-right AfD party.

    • Swiss musician says:

      Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the people of Saxony had the courage to risk their lives and livelihood to start the fall of their evil communist goverment.

      • William Osborne says:

        As history shows, the far-right (and especially Nazis) have a special animosity for communism.

  • Axl says:

    Hmm… More than “interesting” choise! Hopely Gatti will be better human being now/in future

  • Alexandrag says:

    One of the best conductors I have ever seen in front of an orchestra, and it worries me that the Concertgebouworkest dismissed him in connection with allegations, no police reports and no court sentencing. Just with allegations.

    It brings back to memory very dark times, when a simple allegation or an anonymous accusation could get someone summarily fired; ostracized; or out in a Gulag, in a concentration or re-education camp; and in the worst cases, killed.

    Glad the Staatskapelle decided to hire that extraordinary conductor.

  • Thomas M. says:

    A good decision. Unlike Thielemann, Gatti is a competent conductor in a wider variety of repertoire. From Thielemann, it can only get better for Dresden.