“[Fabien] Gabel’s interpretation can only be described as awesome, and was characterised by a powerful, sweeping nobility, the opening motto magnificently brooding, the first movement’s allegro flung out with almost reckless defiance. The central allegretto, rolling slow movement and scherzo into one, relaxed into eloquent lyricism before the finale, recapitulating everything that had gone before, blazed with triumphant conviction. The BBCSO were at their best here, and there was some terrific playing, the great cor anglais solo in the allegretto above all…Gabel’s interpretation was all exhilaration and refinement, with gloriously tumultuous brass, a rich warmth and depth in the strings, and yet again some notably beautiful instrumental solos – cello and clarinet this time.”
“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.”
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.”
Fabien Gabel has established an international career of the highest caliber, appearing with orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Minnesota Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Oslo Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Praised for his dynamic style and sensitive approach to the score, he is best known for his eclectic repertoire choices ranging from core symphonic works to new music to championing lesser-known composers of the 19th and the 20th century.
Gabel’s 2022-23 season includes a number of highly-anticipated debuts, beginning with the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, followed by the Wiener Symphoniker, and at Opéra de Paris, leading Calixto Beito’s production of ‘Carmen’, while in North America he makes his debuts with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Baltimore. The season also includes return appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tonkünstler-Orchester in Vienna, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, and West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Also in Paris, in the current season he embarks upon a large-scale project to record the music for Abel Gance’s 1927 epic silent film ‘Napoléon’ with the Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, in a production which will appear in cinemas, for online streaming and in live performances.
Fabien Gabel performs with soloists such as Emmanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Bertrand Chamayou, Seong-Jin Cho, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gidon Kremer, Augustin Hadelich, Simone Lamsma, Daniel Lozakovich, Christian Tetzlaff, Gautier Capuçon, Daniel Mueller-Schott, Johannes Moser, Håkan Hardenberger, Emmanuel Pahud, and with singers such as Measha Brueggergosman, Natalie Dessay, Petra Lang, Jennifer Larmore, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Danielle de Niese and Michael Schade.
Having attracted international attention in 2004 as the winner of the Donatella Flick conducting competition, Fabien Gabel was assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra 2004-2006. He was music director of Orchestre Symphonique de Québec 2012-2021 and Orchestre Francais de Jeunes 2017-2021.
Born in Paris to a family of accomplished musicians, Fabien Gabel began playing the trumpet at the age of six and honed his skills at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. He played with various Parisian orchestras under prominent conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle and Bernard Haitink before embarking on his conducting career.