“Conductor Gabel and the OSQ musicians did true justice to Schmitt’s score, one of the most notable of the large-scale creations of this master orchestrator. Stentorian brass and resplendent colors from the woodwinds combined with ever-busy strings and a whole raft of percussion arrayed across the right side of the stage, coming together in an über-impressive phalanx of sound that underscored yet again how unique and noteworthy this 1904 score was at the time of its creation – and remains today.”
“Fabien Gabel knows how to delicately reveal all the shimmers in this type of score.”
“This conductor has a real talent for keeping the sound growing with the right intensity…Maestro Gabel proved to be in full control of his interpretation, with a particular interest in nuance and detail. His gestures drew the music beautifully and his sound was attractive.”
“The MSO under Gabel’s expert leadership magnificently brought out all its subtleness and grandeur; I especially appreciated the somewhat slower tempos Gabel took throughout the piece, thereby allowing the listener to hear the work’s textures all the more.”
Texas Classical Review
“Gabel and the orchestra spun it out in silky, caressing phrases—a seductive counterbalance to the Straussian heroics.
Gabel and the orchestra were simpatico partners with Gomyo all the way. The orchestra’s transparency enabled her to whisper without being drowned out, and Gabel kept the group in sync with her free-spirited pacing.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“The orchestra sparkled in these variations, led by Gabel with pronounced baton work in his right arm and florid sculpting with his left.”
Hailed as “boldly evocative,” Fabien Gabel is recognized internationally as one of the stars of a new generation of conductors, having established a broad repertoire ranging from core symphonic works to contemporary new works and championing lesser-known works by French composers. He has been the Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec since 2012 and Music Director of the innovative Orchestre Français des Jeunes since 2017.
Gabel’s 2019-20 season features debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, his eighth season as Music Director of the OSQ where he will lead the orchestra in works by Chausson, Ravel, Duparc, Dutilleux, Aubert, Schmitt, Dubugnon, Rebel, Tomasi, and Poulenc, and collaborations with world-class soloists including Augustin Hadelich, Juho Pohjonen, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Michael Barenboim, Ana María Martínez, Philippe Jaroussky, and more. He also returns this season to conduct the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.
His conducting has taken him across the globe to lead top orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Seoul Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra D.C., Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Tonkünstler Orchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Warsaw Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Gabel has worked with the world’s most formidable soloists including Emanuel Ax, Seong-Jin Cho, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alina Pogostkina, Julian Steckel, Johannes Moser, Antonio Meneses, Marc-André Hamelin, Beatrice Rana, Gautier Capuçon, Simone Lamsma, Xavier de Maistre, and Bertrand Chamayou, and singers such as Anne Sophie Von Otter, Michael Schade, Petra Lang, Jennifer Larmore, Measha Brueggergosman, Danielle de Niese, Natalie Dessay, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux.
Gabel first attracted international attention in 2004 winning the Donatella Flick competition in London, which subsequently led to his appointment as the LSO’s assistant conductor for two seasons. Since then, the LSO has engaged him regularly as a guest conductor.
Born in Paris into a family of accomplished musicians, Gabel began studying trumpet at the age of six, honing his skills at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, which awarded him a First Prize in trumpet in 1996, and later at the Musik Hochschule of Karlsruhe. He went on to play in several Parisian orchestras under the direction of prominent conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle and Bernard Haitink. In 2002, Fabien Gabel pursued his interest in conducting at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he studied with David Zinman, who invited him to appear as a guest conductor at the Festival in 2009. He has worked as an assistant to Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis.