Music Director

Donato Cabrera

Donato Cabrera Directs the California Symphony

Donato Cabrera is the Music Director of the California Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and served as the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2009-2016.

Since Cabrera’s appointment as Music Director of the California Symphony in 2013, the organization has reached new artistic heights by implementing innovative programming that emphasizes welcoming newcomers and loyalists alike, building on its reputation for championing music by living composers, and committing to programming music by women and people of color. Cabrera has also greatly changed the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s concert experience by expanding the scope and breadth of its orchestral concerts, hosting engaging and lively pre-concert conversations with guest artists and composers, and by creating the Spotlight Concert series that features the musicians of the Las Vegas Philharmonic in intimate chamber music performances. Deeply committed to diversity and education through the arts, Cabrera evaluates the scope, breadth, and content of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic’s music education programs.

In the 2020-2021 season, Cabrera will continue to work with California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic to give vibrant, high-quality performances in a reimagined way that will keep musicians and audiences safe during COVID-19 restrictions. In March 2020, Cabrera launched two new online projects to stay engaged with audiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. MusicWise – Conversations about Art and Culture with Donato Cabrera is a weekly interview series presented on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. The Music Plays On is a series on Cabrera’s blog about his favorite performances and recordings.

In recent seasons, Cabrera has made impressive debuts with the National Symphony’s KC Jukebox at the Kennedy Center, Louisville Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, New West Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, and the Reno Philharmonic. In 2016, he led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances with Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs. Cabrera made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Ătash Sorushan with soprano, Jessica Rivera.

Awards and fellowships include a Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival and conducting the Nashville Symphony in the League of American Orchestra’s prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. 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.

For more information, visit www.donatocabrera.com.

Tall and energetic, he's a passionate, heart-on-the-sleeve conductor, with eclectic musical tastes and a wealth of experience.”