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Conductor Donato Cabrera's 2022-23 Season

Conductor Donato Cabrera’s 2022-2023 Season

Photo by Kristen Loken available in high resolution at

Celebrates Tenth Season as Music Director of California Symphony & Ninth Season as Music Director of Las Vegas Philharmonic

Guest Conducts the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Returns to Abbey Road Studios to Finish Recording Project with London Symphony Orchestra and Violinist, Alexandra Tirsu

“He's a passionate, heart-on-the-sleeve conductor, with eclectic musical tastes and a wealth of experience.” – San Jose Mercury News

New York, NY – Conductor Donato Cabrera’s 2022-2023 season marks his tenth with the California Symphony and ninth with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. In his role as Music Director for both orchestras, Cabrera pursues programming that emphasizes a personalized and integrated vision, highlighting diversity and celebrating the joy of experiencing live music together with others.

The California Symphony’s 2022-2023 season demonstrates its continued commitment to presenting innovative programming and performances featuring women, composers of color, and living composers, including: Anna Clyne, Alma Mahler, and Viet Cuong (Young American Composer-in-Residence, 2020-2023). This year, the California Symphony also presents an all-women line-up of guest artists, including contralto Sara Couden, pianists Elizabeth Dorman and Maria Radutu,; and cellist Inbal Segev. To mark this milestone anniversary, Cabrera has programmed this season’s ten concerts with music that has never before been performed by the orchestra.

Additionally, the California Symphony will be heard across the country in a new, syndicated series from WFMT and its network of affiliates. The series celebrates the California Symphony’s commitment to presenting concerts blending beloved classics with works by contemporary American composers including Christopher Theofanidis, Kevin Puts, Nat Stookey, Dan Visconti, Gabriela Lena Frank, Katherine Balch, DJ Sparr, Viet Cuong, and Jessie Montgomery.

“My tenth season with the California Symphony represents a milestone on a journey I’ve taken with our incredible musicians and our dedicated, loyal audience,” says Cabrera. “I wanted to mark this achievement of ten years of artistic growth and elevated ambition by performing an entire season of music that the orchestra has never performed before. All of the compositions that I have chosen, while new to our Walnut Creek audience, are celebrated for their unique beauty and groundbreaking nature.”

As Music Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Cabrera has curated a season that includes the grandiosity of Handel’s Messiah and A Night at the Opera – an evening featuring performances of selections from Carmen, Doctor Atomic, Rigoletto and more, with full orchestra and choir – alongside programming that showcases performances by artists both new and familiar to the Las Vegas community, including: LVP oboist Stephen Caplan, soprano Katrina Galka, tenor Ricardo Garcia, mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig, pianist Maria Radutu, Las Vegas Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence cellist Joshua Roman, LVP violist Omar Shelly, and bassist Efrain Solis. Other season highlights include Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto performed by acclaimed violinist and pioneer of social justice in classical music, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, as well as the return of popular string trio Time for Three for the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s Appalachian Spring program, which pays tribute to the sounds of the vast American landscape with, among other works, a performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto 4-3.

In addition to his engagements with California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic, Cabrera will perform as guest conductor and a Music Director finalist candidate with New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) on Friday, January 20, 2022 and Sunday, January 22, 2022 conducting a program featuring music by Anna Clyne, Emmanuel Séjourné, Richard Strauss and Antonín Dvořák. In spring, Cabrera will also conduct two performances of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul, with Patricia Racette as stage director, presented by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The performances will take place on March 11, 2023 at 7:30pm and March 12, 2023 at 2:00pm. Both performances will be held in Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall of the Ann Getty Center for Education. In November 2022, Cabrera will travel back to the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England to finish the recording project with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), featuring Moldovan violinist, Alexandra Tirsu. Back in July, Cabrera conducted the LSO for the recording of Violin Concerto No. 2, a new work by Austrian composer, Paul Lorenz. For this next studio session, Cabrera, Tirsu, and the LSO will record Beethoven’s Romances for Violin and Orchestra and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Donato Cabrera’s 2022-2023 California Symphony Schedule

All performances take place at Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, CA). Tickets are on sale at or through the Lesher Center Box Office by phone (925.943.7469) or in person. Tickets include a free, 30-minute pre-concert talk starting one hour before each performance.

Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 7:30pm & Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 4pm Intersections Information:

Kodály: Dances of Galánta Clyne: DANCE for Cello and Orchestra – Inbal Segev, Cello Skoryk: Melody for Symphony Orchestra Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2

Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 7:30pm & Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 4pm All Things Strings Information:

Elgar: Introduction and Allegro Bacewicz: Concerto for String Orchestra Finzi: Eclogue for Strings – Elizabeth Dorman, violin Dvořák: Serenade for Strings

Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 7:30pm & Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 4pm Chopin in Paris Information:

Chevalier de Saint-Georges: The Anonymous Lover Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 – Maria Radutu, Piano Franck: Symphony in D minor

Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 7:30pm & Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4pm Mahler’s Inner Circle Information:

Zemlinsky: Lustspiel Overture Alma Mahler: Fünf Lieder (Orchestrated by Jorma Panula) – Sara Couden, contralto Rott: Symphony No. 1

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 7:30pm & Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 4pm Fresh Inspirations Information: Berlioz: Roman Carnival Cuong: World Premiere Walton: Symphony No. 1

Donato Cabrera’s 2022-2022 Las Vegas Philharmonic Schedule

All performances take place at The Smith Center (61 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas, NV). Tickets are on sale at or through the Smith Center Box Office by phone (702.749.2000) or in person. Donato Cabrera and special guests will host pre-concert conversations one hour prior to each performance in Reynolds Hall to discuss the works to be performed and the history behind the music.

Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 7:30 PM American Classics Information:

William Grant: Still Festive Overture Wynton Marsalis: Violin Concerto – Kelly Hall Tompkins, Violin George Antheil: Hot-Time Dance Ferde Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite

Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 7:30pm Appalachian Spring Information:

Samuel Barber: Essay No.2, Op.17 Jennifer Higdon: Concerto 4-3 - Time for Three (Nicolas Kendall, violin; Charles Yang violin; Ranaan Meyer, double bass) Virgil Thomson The Plow That Broke The Plains Suite Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite

Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 7:30pm Sibelius Symphony No. 2 Information:

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: The Bamboula (Rhapsodic Dance No.1) Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto Joshua Roman, cello Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2

Saturday, December 3, 2023 at 7:30pm Handel’s Messiah Information:

George Frideric Handel: Messiah Katrina Galka, soprano Hannah Ludwig, mezzo Ricardo Garcia, tenor Efraín Solís, bass

Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 7:30pm Romantic Chopin Information:

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier De Saint-Georges: Symphony No. 2 (The Anonymous Lover) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 31 (Paris Symphony) Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 - Maria Radutu, piano

Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7:30pm The Music of John Williams Information:

Olympic Fanfare and Theme Suite from Jaws Superman March from Superman Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theme from Schindler’s List Adventures on Earth from E.T. Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars Suite and more!

Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:30pm Cabrera Conducts At The Opera Information:

Four distinguished opera stars join Donato and the Las Vegas Philharmonic on stage for a performance featuring selections from Carmen, Così fan tutte, Doctor Atomic, Don Giovanni, La bohème, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto and more!

Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 7:30pm Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Information:

Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 In C Major, Op. 26 – Ilya Yakushev, piano Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36

Donato Cabrera’s 2022-2023 Guest Appearances

New Haven Symphony Orchestra January 20, 2022 at 7:30pm – Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at SCSU Cabrera Conducts Dvořák Information: Anna Clyne: Stride for String Orchestra Emmanuel Séjourné: Concerto for Marimba and Strings – Aya Kaminaguchi, principal percussionist Richard Strauss: Serenade, TrV 106, op.7, E-flat major Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No.8, op.88, B.163, G major New Haven Symphony Orchestra January 22, 2023 at 3pm — Valley Regional High School | 256 Kelsey Hill Road | Deep River, CT Information: Anna Clyne: Stride for String Orchestra Emmanuel Séjourné: Concerto for Marimba and Strings – Aya Kaminaguchi, principal percussionist Richard Strauss: Serenade, TrV 106, op.7, E-flat major Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No.8, op.88, B.163, G major

About Donato Cabrera: 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. Cabrera is dedicated to adventurous programming, living composers, and digital innovation. He is keenly focused on outreach and engagement, and programming that reflects the communities he is serving.

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 2020, Cabrera implemented several digital initiatives 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. Cabrera also launched an online chamber series with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and California Symphony.

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, and Cabrera has 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. In 2021, he made his debut with Opera San José.

Donato Cabrera is continuously championing contemporary music and living composers. He made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Ătash Sorushan with soprano, Jessica Rivera. He also led the San Francisco Symphony Chorus with organist Paul Jacobs in the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission. Cabrera co-founded the New York-based American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), which is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.

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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