The MCO's Artistic Advisor

5 July 2017

What does an Artistic Advisor do? For conductor Daniele Gatti, being the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Advisor extends beyond “merely” conducting the orchestra on two to three tours a year. 

As Artistic Advisor, Daniele Gatti works closely with MCO musicians to shape the orchestra’s artistic identity. During his most recent tour with the MCO, for example, Daniele Gatti met with members of the orchestra to discuss topics ranging from repertoire to ensemble sound, from future projects to musical partners – all aspects integral to the MCO’s immediate and long-term artistic development.

Contrary to a Music Director, Daniele Gatti does not play an active role in steering the orchestra in a specific direction. Instead, in keeping with its identity as a self-determining collective, the MCO takes charge of its artistic decisions and turns to the conductor for consultation on selected issues. 
This partnership between Daniele Gatti and the MCO is recognized, in particular, by the clear profile to the projects that they undertake together. In May 2016, they concluded a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies for which Daniele Gatti was awarded the Franco Abbiati Prize by the Associazione Nazionale Critici Musicali. In repeatedly returning to this repertoire over the span of 1.5 years, the orchestra was able to deepen their understanding and connection to Daniele Gatti’s reading of these works. 
This focus on the symphonic repertoire continues with Robert Schumann’s orchestral works. The MCO’s first tour of 2018, From Beethoven to Schumann, illustrates this transition by featuring Beethoven’s Symphony no. 4, performed between Schumann’s Genoveva Overture and Symphony no. 3.  

The close relationship between the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniele Gatti took roots in 2010, where they collaborated on a production of Alban Berg’s Lulu at the Wiener Festwochen. Since then, the MCO and Daniele Gatti have worked on major projects together, such as concerts at the Dresden Music Festival in 2014 and 2017, concerts at the Lucerne Festival in 2014 and 2015, as well as extensive tours bringing their Beethoven cycle to major European cities, including many in Italy. 

Photos: Geoffroy Schied