Gatti was born in Milan. He was the music director of the Orchestra Dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome from 1992 to 1997. In 1997, he became the music director of the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He has also served as principal guest conductor of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 2005, alongside Zubin Mehta and Christian Thielemann, Gatti was invited to conduct a concert in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1955 reopening and renovation of the Vienna State Opera. His debut at the Bayreuth Festival was in Stefan Herheim's production of Parsifal in 2008.
In 1994, Gatti made his first guest conducting appearance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). He was immediately offered the position of the RPO's principal conductor, and he assumed the post in 1996. Gatti is regarded as having restored the RPO's status on par to the other main London orchestras. During his tenure, in 2004, the RPO acquired its first permanent residency at Cadogan Hall. In April 2007, Gatti was one of eight conductors of British orchestras to endorse the 10-year classical music outreach manifesto, "Building on Excellence: Orchestras for the 21st Century", to increase the presence of classical music in the UK, including giving free entry to all British schoolchildren to a classical music concert. In 2009, Gatti stepped down as the RPO's principal conductor and became the orchestra's conductor laureate.
Gatti was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France from 2008 to 2016. He was chief conductor of the Zurich Opera from 2009 to 2012. In October 2014, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (KCO) appointed Gatti as its seventh chief conductor, effective September 2016. His KCO guest-conducting debut had been in April 2004. On 2 August 2018, the KCO terminated his appointment with immediate effect, citing accusations of "inappropriate behavior", and that "a number of female colleagues of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra reported experiences with Gatti, which are inappropriate considering his position as chief conductor." This followed after a report in The Washington Post was published citing two women who accused Gatti of sexual misconduct.
In May 2016, Gatti was appointed Artistic Advisor of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has been teaching at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana since 2016. Gatti first guest-conducted with the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma during the 2016-2017 season. He returned for subsequent guest engagements in each of the following two seasons. In December 2018, the company announced the appointment of Gatti as its new music director, with immediate effect. He became music director of Orchestra Mozart in May 2019.
- Hilary Finch (September 2000). "The Transformer". BBC Music Magazine.
- Erica Jeal (1999-09-20). "Subtle but confident". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- Louise Jury (8 January 2002). "London Philharmonic gets a concert centre". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-09.[dead link]
- Anthony Holden (2004-05-09). "Vandals at the gates". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- Charlotte Higgins (2007-04-26). "Orchestras urge free concerts for children". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- Martin Cullingford (2007-04-20). "Charles Dutoit takes over Royal Philharmonic Orchestra". Gramophone. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- "Daniele Gatti Appointed Chief Conductor of RCO" (Press release). Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- Michael Dervan (2016-08-24). "One plan, one vote: the Dutch way of choosing a conductor". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "[en] - Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest beëindigt samenwerking met chef-dirigent Daniele Gatti". www.concertgebouworkest.nl. Archived from the original on 2018-09-08. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
- Anne Midgette, Peggy McGlone (2016-07-26). "Assaults in dressing rooms. Groping during lessons. Classical musicians reveal a profession rife with harassment". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
- Alex Marshall (2018-12-28). "Two Star Conductors Faced #MeToo Allegations. Now They're Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-05-07.
- "Il maestro Daniele Gatti nominato direttore musicale del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma" (Press release). Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
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