“[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.”

The Guardian

“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.”

Le Soleil

“Conductor Fabien Gabel returned to the Blossom Festival with a program similarly sculpted to his trademark French repertory. He certainly displayed his assurance and flair with these works, making sure that the dark shadows and brittle humor of the Alborado…were as viscerally compelling as they were entertaining.

Part of what was so effective in the Ravel and de Falla works was Gabel’s attention to crisp shaping and punching out of important details. Likewise, this approach kept the soft-grained orchestration of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No.3 energized and aerated.

The concert was a highly successful return to the Cleveland Orchestra for Fabien Gabel.”

Seen and Heard International

“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.”

Texas Classical Review

“The orchestra sparkled in these variations, led by Gabel with pronounced baton work in his right arm and florid sculpting with his left.”

San Diego Union-Tribune

“As led by Gabel, the Houston Symphony had countless moments of inspired playing. The strings moved as one in the rhythmic sections of the first movement, and the cello section presented several lyrical and tonally beautiful themes. Flute and French horn offered exceptional solos. Precise and sonorous bass pizzicatos provided a solid bass line.

Gabel provided an excellent, attentive, and well-balanced accompaniment. The combination of soloist and orchestra electrified the Jones Hall stage with crackling energy alternating with tender lyricism. Rarely are both parts of a concerto so unified.”


Fabien Gabel is the newly appointed Music Director Designate of the Tonkünstler-Orchester, a position which begins with the 2025/2026 season. Elsewhere, he has established an international career of the highest calibre, appearing with orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic 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 choice of repertoire, ranging from core symphonic works to new music to championing lesser-known composers of the 19th and the 20th century.

Gabel returns as a guest in 2023/2024 to such orchestras as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestre, Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Detroit Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. He debuts with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In Paris, Gabel continues his work on a largescale project to record a new score for Abel Gance’s epic film ‘Napoleon’ 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 Daniil Trifonov, Yefim Bronfman, Emmanuel Ax, Bertrand Chamayou,

Seong-Jin Cho, Francesco Piemontesi, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gidon Kremer, Augustin Hadelich, Vilde Frang, 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, Nikola Hillebrand, Asmik Grigorian 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 Français des 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. Fabien Gabel was named ‘Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French government in January 2020.