Donato Cabrera Appointed Festivals Sixth Music Director!

The musicians of the NHMF would like to welcome Donato Cabrera as the sixth Music Director of the New Hampshire Music Festival. We look forward to continuing our music making under his leadership.

Concerning his appointment, Cabrera said, “I’m incredibly honored to be chosen as Music Director for the New Hampshire Music Festival. From the moment the exceptionally talented musicians of the orchestra and I began rehearsing, I was intrigued and excited with the possibility of spending part of my summers in this beautiful part of the country. The audience’s dedication and ardent support for the music and musicians was palpable during every moment of the concerts last summer and it was then that I knew that the NHMF had nothing but a bright and exciting future!”

Plans are underway for the Festival’s 61st Summer Season, which will be announced in early 2013.

Donato Cabrera is the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). He works closely with SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and frequently conducts the San Francisco Symphony throughout the year, including the annual Día de los Muertos Community Concert, as well as the Concerts for Kids, Adventures in Music, and Music for Families concerts, which annually draw more than 60,000 young people and their families from throughout the Bay Area to Davies Symphony Hall.

In June 2012, Cabrera led the SFSYO on their eighth European tour. For a series of six performances-including appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, Rheingau Music Festival in Wiesbaden, International Festival d’Echternach in Luxembourg, Regensburg and Salzburg-the Orchestra won a 2011-12 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American music on foreign tours. In the 2012-13 season Cabrera will lead the SFSYO in three subscription concerts on November 4, March 24, and May 19, as well as in the annual holiday performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf on December 8 at Davies Symphony Hall.

In addition to his duties with the NHMF, the 2012-13 season sees Cabrera’s return to the podium as Music Director of the Green Bay Symphony in their 99th season, as well as debuts with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Grand Rapids Symphony; and return performances with the Orquesta Clásica de Santa Cecilia in Madrid and the California Symphony. In September 2012 he conducted the American Contemporary Music Ensemble 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.

In March 2012, he conducted the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, with Paul Jacobs on organ, in the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission, subsequently conducting it with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City in Carnegie Hall for the American Mavericks Festival. During the 2011-12 season, Cabrera also guest conducted the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, The Bay Brass, and at the New Hampshire Music Festival. He made his Carnegie Hall and Cal Performances debuts conducting the world and California premieres, respectively, of Mark Grey’s Ătash Sorushan. In April 2010, Cabrera stepped in on short notice for the acclaimed British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès to conduct the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Cabrera made his San Francisco Symphony debut in April 2009 when he conducted the Orchestra with 24 hours’ notice in a program that included Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 and Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. From 2005 to 2008, Cabrera was Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Opera, where he prepared the cast and conducted the first rehearsals for the world premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic as well as conducting performances of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, and The Magic Flute. In December 2009, he made his debut with the San Francisco Ballet, conducting performances of The Nutcracker.

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.

A champion of new music, Cabrera is a co-founder of the New York based American Contemporary Music Ensemble, which is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. He is dedicated to music education and has worked with members of the young artist programs of the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Portland Opera. Cabrera has also been a frequent conductor of Young People’s Concerts of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

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 February 2010, he 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. 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. He holds degrees from the University of Nevada and the University of Illinois and has also pursued graduate studies in conducting at Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music.  For more information: