Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra parts company with chief conductor Gatti

Daniele Gatti leaves Amsterdam-based orchestra after allegations of inappropriate behaviour

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has announced its chief conductor Daniele Gatti is to leave his post with immediate effect.

The Italian conductor, 56, has led the prestigious orchestra since 2016, succeeding Mariss Jansons to be only the seventh chief conductor in its 130-year history.

On 26 July, the Washington Post published an article in which Gatti was among several classical music professionals accused of inappropriate behaviour. Two specific incidents were alleged, one that took place in 1996 and a second four years later. In a statement, Gatti said: “I have always been totally alien to any behaviour that may be referred to [by] the term harassment, whether psychological or sexual. Every time I have approached someone, I have always done it fully convinced that the interest was mutual. The facts referred to took place a long time ago, but if I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologise.”

A subsequent statement issued a blanket apology “to all the women I have met in my entire life, especially those who believe I did not treat them with the utmost respect and dignity they certainly deserve, I sincerely apologise.”

The Amsterdam-based Concertgebouw, one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, made no comment until today, when it announced his immediate departure and revealed that since the Post’s article, some of Gatti’s female colleagues at the orchestra had come forward also to allege experiences with the conductor that were “inappropriate”, and that consequently the trust between the musicians and their conductor had broken down.

“The accusations [in the Washington Post] and Gatti’s reactions with this respect have caused a lot of commotion among both musicians and staff, as well as stakeholders both at home and abroad,” reads the statement. “Besides this, since the publication of the article, a number of female colleagues of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra reported experiences with Gatti, which are inappropriate considering his position as chief conductor. This has irreparably damaged the relationship of trust between the orchestra and the chief conductor.”

All RCO concerts planned with Gatti will proceed with other conductors.


Imogen Tilden

The GuardianTramp

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