Alain Altinoglu and Daniele Gatti

At the Berliner Philharmoniker

Daniele Gatti
(Photo: promo)

Alain Altinoglu is the first to make his conducting debut with the Philharmoniker in the new season. Born in France in 1975, he has been music director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels since January 2016. After studying at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, he worked as a répétiteur at the Opéra Bastille, becoming thoroughly acquainted with the operatic repertoire. It was no surprise that he soon enjoyed success at prestigious international opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Wiener Staatsoper, Zurich Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In demand as an opera and concert conductor

However, Altinoglu is also much in demand as a concert conductor, as his guest performances with major international orchestras show. He introduces himself to the Berliner Philharmoniker with a mainly French programme: with Maurice Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, Albert Roussel’s second orchestral suite from Bacchus et Ariane, plus a suite from Claude Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande arranged by the conductor himself. Altinoglu has a special relationship with Debussy’s opera, which he has already conducted in Zurich and Vienna. As he revealed in an interview with the Tagesspiegel, “The teachers of my teachers were pupils of Debussy, Ravel, or Fauré. Some sentences from Pelléas et Mélisande have become figures of speech in France. There is a deep bond.” Altinoglu also conducts the European premiere of Béla Bartók’s Viola Concerto in the version and orchestration of Csaba Erdélyi from 2016 in the Philharmonie.

Italian with a passion for the German repertoire

Daniele Gatti conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time in 1997. This native of Milan, who feels bound to the tradition of the great Italian conductors such as Arturo Toscanini and Carlo Maria Giulini, introduced himself with a Hungarian-French programme: Hector Berlioz’ Carnival Overture, Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yefim Bronfman as the soloist, and Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. He impressed – as the reviews reported – by his at once controlled and spirited music-making. He was an “impulsive, thoroughbred musician”. Chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam since the 2016/2017 season, Gatti has appeared as a guest conductor all over the world: at La Scala and the New York Met, at London’s Covent Garden plus at the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals. In October 2014, after 17 years, the Italian returned to the Berliner Philharmoniker, presenting an all-German programme of works by Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms and Alban Berg. In an interview at the time for the Digital Concert Hall, he expressed his enthusiasm for Brahms: “Brahms regards the form quasi in a mathematical way. But when you listen to his compositions, it seems as if the music has simply flowed from his pen. Every single note is perfectly calculated.” After his most recent guest appearance in September 2016 when he presented classics of French Modernism, Daniele Gatti now returns to the Philharmonie as an interpreter of Brahms. In addition to his Second Symphony, he also conducts the symphony Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith, a composer who, like Johannes Brahms, is closely connected with the history of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Alain Altinoglu
(Photo: Marco Borggreve)