DONATO CABRERA has been the Music Director of the California Symphony since 2013 and Music Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. He served as the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) from 2009-2016.
Since Cabrera's appointment as Music Director of the California Symphony, the organization has been reinvigorated. With its increased subscription programs and an expansion of concerts to three new venues around the Bay Area, the California Symphony and Cabrera are redefining what it means to be an orchestra in the 21st Century. Through the California Symphony’s celebrated Young American Composer in Residence program, Cabrera has supported the burgeoning careers of composers including D.J. Sparr and Dan Visconti.
A champion of new music, Donato Cabrera was a co-founder of the New York-based American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), which is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. In September 2012 he conducted ACME in the world premiere of the all-live version of Steve Reich’s WTC 9/11 for three string quartets and tape at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. Cabrera will lead performances of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's Drone Mass with ACME and Theatre of Voices at Duke Performances and the Big Ears Festival in spring 2017. He made his Carnegie Hall and Cal Performances debuts leading the world and California premieres, respectively, of Mark Grey’s Ătash Sorushan. In 2010, Cabrera stepped in on short notice for the acclaimed British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès to conduct the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In 2002, Cabrera was a Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellow at the Salzburg Festival. He has served as assistant conductor at the Ravinia, Spoleto (Italy), and Aspen Music Festivals, and as resident conductor at the Music Academy of the West. Cabrera has also been an assistant conductor for productions at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2016, he led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances with Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs. From 2005 to 2008, he was Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Opera and in 2009, he made his debut with the San Francisco Ballet. In March 2009, Cabrera was asked to be one of eight participants in the 2009 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, leading the Nashville Symphony over two days in a variety of works. Cabrera was the rehearsal and cover conductor for the Metropolitan Opera production and DVD release of Doctor Atomic, which won the 2012 Grammy® Award for Best Opera Recording.
In 2010, Donato Cabrera was recognized by the Consulate-General of Mexico in San Francisco as a Luminary of the Friends of Mexico Honorary Committee, for his contributions to promoting and developing the presence of the Mexican community in the Bay Area.