Updated: Jan 22
Since assuming the role in 2014, Cabrera has completely changed the Las Vegas Philharmonic concert experience by greatly expanding the scope of music performed. Cabrera’s inventive programming attracted new audiences, and his deep commitment to music education completely reshaped the orchestra’s educational initiatives. Highlights from Cabrera’s tenure, the longest tenure of all music directors of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, include:
Co-commissioning the world premieres of Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3, written for and performed by Simone Dinnerstein, and Juan Pablo Contreras’ Me Chicano. Cabrera conducted the local premieres of many American composers including Jessie Montgomery, Caroline Shaw, Anna Clyne, Missy Mazzoli, Gabriela Lena Frank and Mason Bates. Cabrera also showcased local composers by premiering works by Jennifer Bellor, Diego Vega, Nathan Tanouye (LVP principal trombonist) and the internationally acclaimed Michael Torke.
Leading the Las Vegas cultural community through the pandemic lockdown by hosting his weekly streamed interview series MusicWise. Reaching thousands, his interviews with internationally renowned artists including Canadian Brass hornist Jeffrey Nelsen and principal timpanist of the Chicago Symphony David Herbert, were interspersed with interviews of local arts and cultural leaders including Myron Martin and Dr. Nancy Usher, as well as local business and thought leaders including Mark Shunock and chefs Brian Howard, Giovanni Mauro, and James Trees. Concurrently, Cabrera wrote the daily blog, The Music Plays On, for 172 days, sharing his thoughts on the greatest composers and performers of all musical genres.
Creating, in collaboration with Keith Thompson, the Very Vegas Showcase, which celebrated and featured the enormous wealth of talent found in Las Vegas. Cabrera showcased individual members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic like never before by programming concertos featuring De Anne Letourneau, Andrew Smith, Stephen Caplan, Cory Tiffin, Bill Bernatis, Kimberly Glennie, Mika Brunson and Tom Wright. Cabrera also created the Spotlight Concert Series, featuring the musicians of the Las Vegas Philharmonic in chamber music performances.
“I want to thank the board, staff and our wonderful orchestra, as well as this incredible community, for supporting my artistic vision and helping to define what it means to be an orchestra that truly reflects the community for which it serves,” says Donato Cabrera. “I look forward to supporting and witnessing the continued growth of this vital arts organization and although my time with the Las Vegas Philharmonic will come to a close as music director following the 2023-24 season, I can’t wait to join our incredible audience, cheering on the orchestra and this music we all love.”
“The Las Vegas Philharmonic is so grateful to Donato for taking this orchestra through 10 years of artistic growth and development,” says Jeri Crawford, Las Vegas Philharmonic Board President. “He has shown how an orchestral conductor can be approachable, which has attracted audiences to attend more and more concerts and spread the news about this wonderful symphony orchestra in our community. We look forward to an incredible final season with Donato.”
The Las Vegas Philharmonic established its presence in Southern Nevada in 1998. The mission of the Las Vegas Philharmonic is to inspire a lifelong appreciation of music through performances and educational experiences for the Las Vegas community and enhance the lives of residents and the culture of the city. Music education and engagement are the cornerstones of the Philharmonic’s commitment to the community. The Youth Concert Series brings thousands of children into the concert hall for a vital music education program, while the season of concerts showcases local talents alongside stellar nationally and internationally known guest artists on the magnificent Reynolds Hall stage. At the orchestra’s core are 76 contracted professional musicians, many of whom are esteemed educators who also perform in other professional productions in Las Vegas, bringing depth and variety to the organization. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Philharmonic’s community, education, and artistic programs are made possible by the generous donations and support of individuals and corporations.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic’s 2023-24 programming will be announced soon. For more information about the Las Vegas Philharmonic, visit lvphil.org or call 702.258.5438. Follow the Las Vegas Philharmonic on facebook.com/lasvegasphilharmonic, and Twitter and Instagram @lvphil.