Obituary of Michael C. Gabriel
Michael C. Gabriel, beloved son of Michael and Mary, dear brother of Luke, and devoted soulmate of Arden, passed away May 4, 2019.
Michael was a talented musician, and a member of The Juilliard School class of 2020, where he was a double scholarship recipient. During his years at Juilliard, he performed under the baton of Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Thomas Ades, Marin Alsop and countless others, and was also part of the Conducting Master Candidates Lab Orchestra. Michael was a recipient of the Robert L. Poster Fellowship with the New York Youth Symphony, where he studied conducting under Joshua Gersen, the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Michael made his conducting debut in 2016 at Symphony Space in NYC, where he conducted the world premiere of "Little Colors" by Aedan McEvoy.
He began playing the double bass at age nine, quickly exhibiting amazing musical ability, and was often featured at school performances. Michael enjoyed playing his bass guitar, the drums, and his double bass, recently using his prized Hoffner guitar in The Juilliard School’s Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Carnegie Hall under maestro Barbara Hannigan. At age fifteen, he was accepted into The Juilliard School’s renowned Pre-College program, where he served as the principal bassist of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra. Michael was also a conducting student of Adam Glaser in Pre-College, and studied privately with maestros Joshua Gersen and Alan Gilbert.
In 2015, Michael participated in the Summer Music Institute of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. where, as principal bassist, he made his Kennedy Center debut under the baton of Elizabeth Schulze. Michael played the bass solo from Gustav Mahler’s 1st Symphony, and received outstanding acknowledgment from the conductor and audience. His chamber music group was selected to record at Sirius XM Radio’s Symphony Space in D.C. where they performed Franz Schubert's Octet in F Major.
In 2016, Michael was chosen to participate in The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, where he had the privilege of performing as principal bassist in a concert featuring pianist Emanuel Ax at Carnegie Hall. NYO performed throughout the United States under the baton of maestro Christoph Eschenbach, and toured Europe with maestro Valery Gergiev and pianist David Matsuev. The orchestra also performed internationally at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Hall, Prague’s Smetana Hall, and Montpelier’s L’Opera Berlioz.
As a scholarship recipient at Aspen Music Festival in 2017, Michael served as assistant principal bassist of the highly-acclaimed production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito. Recently, he attended the Metropolitan Opera’s rehearsal of this production, and was proud to use his conductor’s score to take notes.
It was Michael’s dream to study conducting in graduate school, and he had recently been producing a record. Michael’s ultimate goal was to conduct Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and even had a tattoo of a stanza from Goethe’s Faust, which inspired the piece. In addition to conducting, he wanted to found a record label, highlighting young talents of the evolving classical music and jazz industries.
Michael was an avid photographer and a devoted fan of the NY Yankees, a love he shared with his brother, Luke, and together they enjoyed time at Yankee Stadium. An animal lover, he adopted a rescue cat named Frankie, and assisted in countless animal rescue operations.
A lover of travel, Michael recently visited Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Mexico, and Aruba on a trip with his fiancée’s family. It was during this trip that he cruised the Panama Canal, rode horses on the beach, and toured Aztec temples, feeding his love of history. His favorite place in the world was Amsterdam, where he played music and visited with his fiancée, Arden.
Michael is survived by his father, Michael, mother, Mary, and brother, Luke. Michael also leaves behind his grandmother, and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins and friends, with whom he enjoyed good times throughout his life.
Rest easy, Michael!
For those wishing to contribute to the Michael Gabriel Memorial Scholarship at Manhasset High School; check payable to:
Manhasset High School
℅ Dr. Dean Schlanger
200 Memorial Place
Manhasset, NY 11030
For those wishing to make a donation in Michael’s memory:
NYYS Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program ,
110 W. 40th Street, Suite 1503,
New York, NY, 10018
Please note that your donation is in memory of Michael