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Story | Community
27 August 2021

QF musicians mourn Maestro Gelmetti

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Conductor had performed with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra over many years

Musicians from all over the world are mourning the death of Maestro Gelmetti, who passed away in Monte Carlo at the age of 75.

Since his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, Gelmetti – widely regarded as one of today’s most prestigious conductors – regularly appeared on the podium of opera houses and festivals all over the world.

Gelmetti worked with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) – a member of Qatar Foundation – as a guest conductor for a number of years.

Merve Kenet Bulun, a viola player from Turkey, who performs with QPO, said: “After I have received the very sad news about Maestro Gelmetti, I was deeply touched. My last memory of him was at our last concert before the COVID-19 outbreak in Doha.

Faure Pavane was the last piece we have performed together. And from now on this beautiful music will remind me of Maestro Gelmetti and his gentle smile

Merve Kenet
Merve Kenet

“Faure Pavane was the last piece we have performed together. And from now on this beautiful music will remind me of Maestro Gelmetti and his gentle smile. Rest in peace, dear maestro.”

Lorena Manescu, a first violinist from Romania, who also plays with QPO, said: “The departure of Maestro Gelmetti from this world has saddened me deeply. He artfully succeeded in bringing the best out of every musician to create magnificent performances. Sharing the stage with him was always a transcendental experience for me.

“The memory of Maestro Gelmetti’s marvelous musicianship will accompany me for the rest of my life. He was a great conductor.”

“I would wait enthusiastically for his visits to Doha each season to make amazing music together, and I will never forget his vision, energy, and depth when conducting the orchestra. Rest in peace, you will always live in our hearts,” said Hassan Moataz, a cello player with QPO, from Egypt.

It was an honor to share the stage with Gelmetti in Qatar. He was a phenomenal musician and a virtuous professor who had a huge impact on the musical community

Nasser Nasseb

Nasser Nasseb, Deputy Executive Director of QPO, shared his condolences, saying: “It was an honor to share the stage with Gelmetti in Qatar. He was a phenomenal musician and a virtuous professor who had a huge impact on the musical community.”

Mateo Gaspari, double bassist at QPO, who is from Romania, said: “Once he stepped onto the stage, his wisdom, experience, and musical knowledge channeled off of his baton immediately. As an orchestral musician, I enjoyed working with him. He will be deeply missed.”

Simone Zanacchi, bass clarinet player at QPO, from Italy, said: “Maestro Gelmetti represented the old school of orchestral conducting, which I appreciated the most. When I had the pleasure to play with him, I immediately had the feeling that I was being led with sure hands that were gently asking for the best from my instrument.

Since 2015, he has been coming to Qatar to perform as special guest conductor with QPO. His way of conducting made these evenings unforgettable events

Kurt Meister

“Gelmetti was able to find the perfect balance between respecting the score and the magic of the music required to make the concert an unforgettable experience for the audience.”

Maias Al Yamani, a Syrian violinist at QPO, expressed his sadness, saying: “Maestro Gelmetti was such a charismatic person and wonderful artist. Sometimes he would shout angrily in Italian, other times would make everyone laugh and run the rehearsal with his gentle presence. He owned everyone’s heart with his charming smile, he never hesitated to share his wisdom.

“Rest in peace, Maestro Gelmetti. I am honored that I played and learned from you as an artist and human being, your Brahms – Symphony No.1 and your wisdom will always have a special place in my heart.”

In Italy, Maestro Gelmetti conducted numerous productions at the Rossini Opera Festival, receiving the “Rossini d’Oro” award with Guillaume Tell in 1999. He was also awarded the Tokyo critics’ prize “Best Performance of the Year” with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in 1997.

Maestro Gelmetti leading a performance with QPO in Doha.

Maestro Gelmetti is also the composer of “In Paradisum Deducant Te Angeli”, which premiered in Rome – performed by the Orchestra and Choir of Teatro dell'Opera – and later played in London, Munich, Frankfurt, Budapest, Sydney, and Stuttgart,

Kurt Meister, Executive Director of QPO, relived the memories of Maestro Gelmetti in Qatar, saying: “Since 2015, he has been coming to Qatar to perform as special guest conductor with QPO. His way of conducting made these evenings unforgettable events.”

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