Harmony in Las Vegas: Catching Up With Donato Cabrera

Performances and Artists

Flourishing in its 16th year, the Las Vegas Philharmonic is led by music director Donato Cabrera. The 2014-15 season marks Cabrera’s first year at the helm of the performing arts company.

Maestro Cabrera was raised in Las Vegas and Reno, and graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno with a Bachelor of Music Performance. After further studies at the University of Illinois – Champaign and Manhattan School of Music, he embarked on a career that has included guest conducting the Colorado Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Music Academy of the West. He is also resident conductor at the prestigious San Francisco Symphony.

As the leading classical music organization in Southern Nevada and a resident company at The Smith Center, the Las Vegas Philharmonic “Your Symphony Orchestra” is a dynamic body that can play a wide spectrum of music.

“We have 76 members, but this changes depending on the repertoire being performed,” said Cabrera. “For instance, a concert that has an overture, concerto and symphony from the 18th century – think Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven – requires around 50 musicians at most.”

“However, a symphony by Mahler, or a tone poem by Richard Strauss, requires an orchestra far larger than 76 musicians,” he added.

This season has two performances remaining in Cabrera’s inaugural year. Up next, the Philharmonic’s April 25 performance brings an all-time greatest hit to Reynolds Hall.

“We will perform one of the most popular symphonies ever written, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5,” said Cabrera.

The night also includes John Adams’ The Chairman Dances and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with featured pianist Joyce Yang. In addition, there will be a pre-performance lecture at 6:45 p.m.

To end the season in vintage Las Vegas style, May 16 brings Pops V Concert – A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra.

“Matt Catingub returns to direct the final Pops program of the season that will feature music that the one-and-only Frank Sinatra made popular throughout his remarkable career,” said Cabrera.

This show is particularly fitting, as 2015 is the 100th anniversary of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ birth in Hoboken, New Jersey. In addition, June 20 brings Frank Sinatra Jr. to The Smith Center in a tribute show to his father’s musical legacy.

The next month promises plenty of musical richness in Reynolds Hall with Cabrera and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. And the 2015-16 season, which launches in September, will offer an expanded season with 15 performances and mark Cabrera’s first full season as Conductor.

Pops V Concert – A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra was a part of the 2014-2015 season.