20 Questions with Fabien Gabel

Fabien Gabel, conductor

Fabien Gabel, conductor

On March 9, 11 & 12, the Houston Symphony welcomes acclaimed conductor Fabien Gabel back to Jones Hall for an exciting program of Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. Get to know our guest maestro with these fun (and surprising!) questions.

Calvin Dotsey: What’s one thing most people don’t realize about conducting? 

Fabien Gabel: How physical it can be. After a concert, I feel like I’ve just spent 3 hours at the gym.

CD: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be? 

FG: Louis XIV. Everytime I go to Versailles I am in awe.

CD: What is your biggest dream?

FG: That my 6 month old start sleeping through the night!

CD: What is your spirit animal? 

FG: A frog! I’m French after all…

CD: If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 

FG: Flying – I would avoid long lines at customs!

CD: What is the last recording you listened to?

"Everytime I go to Versailles I am in awe."

“Everytime I go to Versailles I am in awe.”

FG: Harlem – Duke Ellington.

CD: What’s something that scares you? 

FG: Disease.

CD: Describe one of the pieces you are going to perform in three words.

FG: Tchaikovsky’s 6th- Intense, passionate, heartbreaking.

CD: What gets on your nerves?

FG: Rudeness.

CD: What are you most proud of? 

FG: My three children.

CD: What is your favorite place in the world? 

FG: Anywhere where I am on vacation with my family.

CD: What is the last book you enjoyed reading? 

FG: Robert Schumann’s biography.

CD: What is the last movie or TV show you enjoyed watching? 

"I always hope to be in the States when Shark Week is on!"

“I always hope to be in the States when Shark Week is on!”

FG: Any shark documentary. I always hope to be in the States when Shark Week is on!

CD: Name one person who inspires you. 

FG: Ricardo Muti. In my opinion he is the greatest living conductor. I’m lucky I was able to play under him when I was a trumpet player.

CD: If you had to have a job in a different field, what would it be? 

FG: A surgeon. Musicians heal souls, surgeons heal bodies!

CD: What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you? 

FG: How much I enjoy baking for my kids. My banana bread is award-winning.

CD: If you were a musical note, what note would you be? 

FG: C4. [Middle C]

CD: What is the natural tempo marking of your life? 

FG: Allegro con spirito.

CD: What’s one quality you look for in all your friends? 

FG: Loyalty.

CD: If you had to play an instrument instead of conduct, what instrument would you pick?

FG: French Horn.

Don’t miss Fabien Gabel conducting Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky March 9, 11 & 12 with the Houston Symphony! Get tickets and more info here.

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