Conductor Daniele Gatti burst on the music scene in his 20’s and rapidly was tapped to head leading orchestras and opera houses around the world: Music Director in London of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Principle Guest Conductor of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He made his debut both at the Met and the Bayreuth Wagner Festival at a young age. Since then he has led the leading orchestras in America and serves as one of a handful of principal conductors of the Vienna Philharmonic. Today he serves as Music Director of the Orchestre National de France and Chief Conductor of the Zurich Opera.
In a wide ranging interview with host Gilbert Kaplan, Gatti reveals:
- The first work he “heard” was Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony. While his mother was pregnant with him, she played that work over and over.
- The Verdi Requiem is the sacred work that is the most moving
- That he considers it “out of the question” that a conductor might appear before an orchestra less than “really, really deeply prepared.”
- How a timpani player was “completely out” for the last 20 bars of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring – my god it was a nightmare.”
- Why he doesn’t smile at the audience after a performance
- Composer’s whose music he doesn’t conduct: all British, Dvorak, Rimsky-Korsakov and Grieg
- Why Falstaff is probably the opera he’d like to “bring to his grave.”
- Advice for hot young conductors: “use the brake” – don’t take every assignment if you’re not really ready for it.
- His musical selections include works by Mahler, Verdi, Beethoven and Wagner