The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of James Thurmond Smithgall in support of the 2017-2018 season.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) is one of the very best orchestras in the world. Time and time again, critics have praised its unique sound. The orchestra’s strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion have all gained an international reputation for their timbre. The exceptional acoustics of the Concertgebouw play an important role in this reputation. Equally important, however, is the quality of the musicians themselves and the influence exerted on the orchestra by its chief conductors, of which there have been only seven since the orchestra was founded in 1888: Willem Kes (1888–1895), Willem Mengelberg (1895–1945), Eduard van Beinum (1945–1959), Bernard Haitink (1961–1988), Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004), Mariss Jansons (2004–2015), and now Daniele Gatti (since September 2016).
Leading composers such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss conducted the orchestra on more than one occasion. The orchestra still regularly collaborates with contemporary composers and contributes to the development of new music by regularly commissioning compositions.
In addition to some 90 concerts performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the RCO gives 40 concerts at leading halls around the world each year. The orchestra has made more than 1,100 recordings to date, many of which have won international accolades. Since 2004, the RCO boasts its own in-house label, RCO Live.
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, in 2013 the orchestra undertook a world tour, visiting six continents in a single year. Between 2016 and 2018, all 28 member states of the European Union will be visited for the RCO Meets Europe tour. In each EU country, the orchestra will perform at least one work together with a local youth orchestra.
Born in Milan, Daniele Gatti studied piano, composition, and conducting at the Conservatorio di Milano. He has been chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra since the 2016–2017 season.
Between 2008 and 2016, Maestro Gatti was the music director of the Orchestre National de France. Previously, he was music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London); principal conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome); principal guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London); music director of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna; and principal conductor at the Opernhaus Zürich. In 2016, he was appointed artistic adviser of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Maestro Gatti regularly leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Filarmonica della Scala. He has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all around the world and has close ties with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Vienna State Opera. Maestro Gatti is one of the few Italian conductors ever invited to the Bayreuth Festival, where he conducted Wagner’s Parsifal in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he made his debut in a production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 2004, and he returned in 2013 for an acclaimed new production of Parsifal, the DVD of which was released in 2014.
Since his debut in April 2004, he has been a regular guest with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Maestro Gatti is a Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana and was awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize in both 2005 and 2016. The French Republic named him a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.