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Anton Gabmayer

Peter Holman portrait

Violin concerto in A major, "Melker"
Cantata: Ah, come il core mi palpita
Lo Speziale
Chorus of the Danes

Symphony in D minor, Perger 20

Symphony in D major, Benton 147
Symphony in C major, Benton 121
Symphony in F minor, Benton 138

Anton Gabmayer is an Austrian conductor specializing in music of the Classical period, particularly Joseph Haydn. At the age of six he joined the youth orchestra in his home town of Korneuburg, Lower Austria, and then became a member of the Vienna Boys Choir, receiving a first-class training under renowned teachers Ferdinand Großmann and Hans Gillesberger. Such valuable early experience, especially as a soloist on tour with the Vienna Boys Choir, fostered a sense of musical responsibility and introduced him to the demands of professional concert life. When only eighteen, he became director of two choirs and soon began working with an orchestra, taking lessons in conducting from Karl Österreicher.

In 1992 the Joseph Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt became aware of Anton Gabmayer's work as a conductor, and a successful and lasting artistic collaboration was established. First, he was commissioned to perform all 107 symphonies of Haydn in the Esterházy Palace, and over the next nine years was given the opportunity to concentrate exclusively on Haydn's works. To assist him in this task, a new orchestra was formed, Die Haydn Akademie, whose players use both modern and period instruments. Thus Gabmayer has been able to study Haydn's music by recreating its "authentic sound", and to develop a performing style that is as faithful as possible to the composer's intentions. Moreover, he has been fortunate to work in Hadyn's own concert hall, one of the world's finest, interpreting every musical phrase and effect under the same acoustical conditions that the composer himself would have experienced as he brought his music to life.

Anton Gabmayer's intensive work on Haydn's music and the unique possibilities offered by the Haydn Festival have contributed to his unparalleled development as a conductor. Like Haydn himself over the years, he has been able "as head of an orchestra, to experiment and observe what creates an impression and what weakens it, improving, composing and cutting out, taking risks" (Haydn's own words about his era at the Esterházy Palace). Gabmayer has a considerable repertoire at his disposal: in addition to the complete cycle of Haydn symphonies, he has performed all the composer's overtures, numerous instrumental concertos, arias and sacred music, as well as music by Mozart, Michael Haydn, Pleyel and many others. Besides his activities at Eisenstadt, where he conducts a successful series of annual concerts, he is also a guest conductor with the Haydn Academy, makes radio and TV appearances and CD recordings, and has conducted at festivals in Flanders, Italy, Slovenia, Vienna, and Japan.

Gabmayer is also active outside the concert hall. He has prepared performing editions of symphonies, operas and solo concertos based on historical sources, and in 2007 initiated the "Klangbrücke" Festival organized by the towns of Klosterneuburg, Korneuburg and Langenzersdorf. Since 2006 he has organized musical projects for children and young adults, aimed at developing personal qualities such as creativity, responsibility and team spirit. These projects have been supported by the Austrian federal ministry for education, art and culture, and the department for culture and science of the Austrian federal provinces of Lower Austria and Burgenland. In 2000 Anton Gabmayer was honoured by the Austrian federal province of Burgenland for his work on Joseph Haydn.

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