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Donato Cabrera Leads Monterey Symphony for 75th Anniversary Season Opener on February 19 and 20

Conductor Donato Cabrera Leads Monterey Symphony in 75th Anniversary Season Opening Performances with Cellist Julian Schwarz

Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 7:30pm Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 3pm Sunset Center | San Carlos Ave & 9th Ave | Carmel, CA Tickets and information:

Conductor Donato Cabrera will lead the Monterey Symphony in two upcoming concerts on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 3pm, at Sunset Center (San Carlos & 9th Ave). Cabrera joins the orchestra for these performances as one of the finalists in Monterey Symphony’s Music Director search, and both concert programs will feature works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Monterey Symphony Composer-in-Residence John Christopher Wineglass.

Cabrera says, “It is with great excitement and gratitude that I have been chosen to conduct the first concert of the 75th anniversary season of the Monterey Symphony. I look forward to working with this talented group of musicians, many of whom I have known and worked with for many years through my association with various Bay Area ensembles. I am also looking forward to meeting as many people in the Carmel/Monterey communities as possible so that we may get the chance to get to know one another a little bit. The music we have chosen for this concert represents exactly the type of programming that I believe a twenty-first century American musical institution should perform to remain relevant and engaged.”

The program will open with Wineglass’ Alone Together, a Monterey Symphony co-commission. “Beginning a season with the celebratory nature of a commissioned work by a local composer is a bold statement, but the subject matter behind the music couldn’t be more apt,” says Cabrera. “Alone Together is a beautifully insightful reflection of what we all experienced while we were all ‘alone together’ during the pandemic and witnessing our country continue to grapple with racial inequality.”

Cellist Julian Schwarz joins the orchestra to perform Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107. According to Cabrera, “Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto is, without doubt, one of his greatest pieces and a perfect vehicle for the bold and extraordinary talent of our soloist, Julian Schwarz. It is a work full of emotional intensity and the Monterey audience is in for an incredible journey with this concerto.”

The concert will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, of which Cabrera says, “If there’s a symphony that can surpass the emotional heights and depths of the Shostakovich, it would be Tchaikovsky’s epic Symphony No. 5. What Tchaikovsky achieves in just 45 minutes is similar to what Tolstoy achieves in his novel, War and Peace, or Pushkin achieves in his play, Eugene Onegin. The transformative nature that everyone experiences when conducting, playing, or hearing this symphony is nothing short of life-altering.”

See Monterey Symphony’s Health and Safety Protocols page for policies regarding COVID-19 and performances:

Tickets and information: or by calling the MSO box office at (831) 646-8511. Tickets range from $44 for tier 3 seats, $65 for tier 2 seats, and $85 for tier 1 seats. Students and active military discount are $10 with I.D.

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.

For more information, visit

About Julian Schwarz: Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family. Recognized from a young age as a cellist, his powerful tone and effortless virtuosity are hallmarks of his style.

After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony with his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium, Schwarz made his US touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, he has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and produced recordings throughout the United States as well as internationally.

Schwarz studied at the Academy of Music Northwest, the Lakeside School, The Colburn School in Los Angeles, and The Juilliard School, earning both his Bachelor and Master of Music. Mr. Schwarz serves as Assistant Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory and on the artist faculty of NYU.

About John Christopher Wineglass: John Christopher Wineglass has written scores for MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC as well as scoring the documentaries on Kathy Lee Gifford and Farah Fawcett, Headliners and Legends, and The Brady Bunch. Several of his commercials include music for the United States Army, American Red Cross and Texaco. As a recipient of three Daytime EMMY Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series, and three ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Mr. Wineglass holds seven EMMY nominations.

In classical music he has garnered commissions from the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, as well as The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Benjamin Harris Memorial Fund, The Heinz Foundation and the Opportunity Fund.

His symphonic work Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice is dedicated to the lives of millions of African and African-American forced laborers who cultivated the immense rice economy in the Lowcountry. With a libretto and extensive research by Dr. Edda Fields-Black of Carnegie-Mellon University, this work has taken them and their team from the shores of South Carolina to the inner villages of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia.

Currently, Wineglass is spending time at Glen Deven Ranch in Big Sur, CA. The property is provided by the Big Sur Land Trust where he continues to maintain an arts-in-nature relationship dating back to his 2016 Big Sur: The Night Sun premiere with the Monterey Symphony.

Wineglass received his Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, with a minor in Viola Performance, from The American University. He received his Master of Arts in Music Composition, with an emphasis in Film Scoring for Motion Pictures, Television and Multi-Media, from New York University, studying with Justin Dello-Joio of The Juilliard School.

About the Monterey Symphony: The Monterey Symphony was founded in 1946 and incorporated in 1947. The Symphony’s mission is to engage, educate and excite our community through the performance and continual discovery of symphonic music.

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