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, the organization has been reinvigorated. With its expanded concerts, dramatically increased ticket sales, and innovative programming, the California Symphony and Cabrera are redefining what it means to be an orchestra in the 21st Century. Under Cabrera's leadership, The Las Vegas Philharmonic has also enjoyed a dramatic increase in ticket sales and an engagement with the community never before seen in Southern Nevada.
Over the last couple of seasons, Cabrera has made impressive debuts with the National Symphony’s KC Jukebox at the Kennedy Center, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, New West Symphony, Sinfónica de Oaxaca, and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Rio.
Cabrera made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Ătash Sorushan.
In 2016, he led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances with Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs. Cabrera co-founded the New York-based American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), and recently led performances of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's Drone Mass with ACME and Theatre of Voices at Duke Performances and the Big Ears Festival.
Cabrera is equally at home in the world of opera, frequently conducting productions in the United States and abroad. He was the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Opera from 2005-2008, working on over 18 productions and conducting multiple performances. Cabrera has also been an assistant conductor for productions at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ravinia Festival, Festival di Spoleto, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. Since 2008, he has frequently conducted productions ranging from Mozart to Puccini in Concepción, Chile.
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.
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San Jose Mercury News
“Tall and energetic, he's a passionate, heart-on-the-sleeve conductor, with eclectic musical tastes and a wealth of experience.”
“Cabrera’s conducting – beautiful, accurate and attentive – steers this wonderful mechanism with authority.”
Chicago Classical Review
“With precise direction, conductor Donato Cabrera drew a taut, highly responsive performance eliciting rich, luminous tone from the ensemble.”
Luxury Las Vegas
"Donato [Cabrera] seeks to prove that Las Vegas can stand alongside the other great musical artistic cities across the country. Now in his second year as conductor, he is well on his way to achieving that dream."
Luxemburger Wort (on a performance of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra)
Donato Cabrera confirmed his high musical caliber and outstanding dramatic potential with technical competence and exuberant vivacity.
Berliner Zeitung (on a performance of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra)
Donato Cabrera, who also serves as chief conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic (yes, there is such a thing even in that city), is a quintessential kapellmeister and orchestral trainer…. He coaxes the musicians to listen attentively to their instrumental groups. The result is extremely impressive as regards the ensemble’s sound and clean interaction.