Born in Milan, Daniele Gatti studied piano and graduated in composition and conducting at the city's Verdi Conservatory. He was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 2016 to 2018.
Between 2008 and 2016, he was the music director of the Orchestre National de France. Prior to this, Daniele Gatti was music director of the Royal Philharmonic (1996–2009), principal conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1992–97), principal guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1994–97), music director of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna (1997–2007), and principal conductor at the Zurich Opera House (2009-2012). In 2016 he was appointed artistic adviser of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Daniele Gatti regularly leads the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala.
He has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all over the world and has close ties with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Viennese Staatsoper. Maestro Gatti is one of the few Italian conductors ever invited to the Festival of Bayreuth, where he conducted Wagner's Parsifal in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York he made his debut in a production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly in 2004, and returned in 2013 for an acclaimed new production of Parsifal, the DVD of which was released in spring 2014.
Since his overwhelming debut in April 2004, Daniele Gatti was a very regular guest with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. During his time as chief conductor he has played an important part in the RCO meets Europe tour programme.
Daniele Gatti is Grande Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française, and was awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize in both 2005 and 2016. In July 2016, the French Republic named him Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.