Carlos Miguel Prieto Is Musical America's 2019 Conductor Of The Year

Musical America today announced Carlos Miguel Prieto as 2019 Conductor of the Year. Prieto, 52, a native of Mexico and one of that nation's most important cultural ambassadors, has been praised for his charismatic conducting and colorful and dynamic interpretations. He is a frequent guest of some of the most important orchestras in the world and serves as music director of four orchestras: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (since 2006), Orquesta Sinfonica Naciónal de Mexico (since 2007), Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (since 2008) and The Orchestra of the Americas (since 2011).

The Musical America honor, among the most prestigious awards in classical music, recognizes Prieto's ascendant international career as a versatile and innovative conductor. His vast range of repertoire stretches from Bach to Haydn, Beethoven to Brahms and Mahler to Shostakovich. His enthusiastic championing of new music is evident through the ambitious commissioning he has done and premieres he has given of over 100 works, with a particular focus on Latin American composers.

The 2019 Conductor of the Year award will be presented to Prieto at the 58th Annual Musical America Awards at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, in New York.

Carlos Miguel Prieto on being named Musical America's 2019 Conductor of the Year:

I am thankful to Musical America - a publication I cherish - for this distinguished honor. I am humbled to be in the company of past and present honorees who have been role models and have inspired me throughout my career.

I am blessed to have grown up in México which is the epicenter of the Americas, a region of the world where music is vibrant and vital.

None of this would be possible without the support of my family, from whom I inherited a profound love of music. My wife, Isabel, is the reason I can pursue my passion.

I share this honor with the musicians, orchestras and organizations that have embraced the belief that we can, and must, improve the lives of others through music. The task ahead is to use that potential to unite us and make us better.

Prieto is a graduate of Princeton University (Engineering) and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. In April 2018, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by Loyola University in New Orleans. Prieto has served as Mexico's delegate to the Davos World Economic Forum and has received recognitions from the governments of Mexico, Austria and the Netherlands, including being named "Conductor of the Year 2002" by the Mexican Union of Music and Theatre Critics.

The 2018/2019 season marks Prieto's 13th season as Music Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), where he has been a part of the cultural revitalization of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, including the re-opening of the historic Orpheum Theater. As Music Director of the LPO, Prieto has raised the orchestra's profile at home and abroad by leading concerts at venues around the city, by inviting esteemed guest artists, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, and Pepe Romero to perform with the orchestra, as well as commissioning and performing new works. On February 27, 2018, Prieto led the LPO in its Carnegie Hall debut in a concert featuring music by Revueltas and Gabriela Ortiz, as well as celebrating the 80th birthday of Philip Glass. Reviewing the Prieto's conducting of Glass's Days and Nights in Rocinha, The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Prieto's feel for subtle shifts in dynamics created an environment both dreamy and dramatic."

The LPO's 2018/2019 season opened on September 13, 2018 with Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Throughout the LPO's 2018/2019 season, Prieto will lead concerts at the the orchestra's Orpheum Theater home and and throughout New Orleans, including Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Anne-Marie McDermott in November, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade with BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 in January 2019, and Chávez's Sinfonía India and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6 in May 2019. The final concert program of the 2018/2019 season sees Prieto conducting a program featuring Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Joyce Yang and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, also in May 2019.

In recent seasons, Prieto has appeared with orchestras across the United States and around the world, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, The Hallé, NDR Elbphilharmonie, and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

This season, Prieto makes his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., November 15 - 17, 2018, conducting Copland's El Salón Mexico, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin, and Revueltas' La noche de los Mayas. On December 6 - 8, 2018, Prieto returns to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for the first time following his acclaimed debut in 2017, leading the DSO in Brahms' Concerto for Violin with Christian Tetzlaff and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. In 2019, Prieto will return to The Hallé in the UK, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Germany, and the Sinfónica de Valencia, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in Spain.

Prieto is a renowned champion of performing and commissioning works of new music, especially from Latin American voices. His position as a cultural leader in Mexico is illustrated by his work as music director of two of the country's most important orchestras: the Orquesta Sinfonica Naciónal de Mexico (OSN) since 2007, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería since 2008. Prieto and the OSN have toured internationally, including the most recent tour in 2017 featuring performances in Cologne and Frankfurt in Germany, as well as in Austria at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, and the Musikverein in Vienna. On November 7, 2018, Prieto will lead a fresh interpretation of Mozart's Requiem featuring the OSN and the Compañía de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba at Mexico City's massive Auditorio Nacional which seats nearly 10,000.

A passionate proponent of music education, Prieto has led several initiatives in North America and beyond. He has played a key role in The Orchestra of the Americas since its inception in 2002, and has served as Music Director since 2011. Each summer, he leads an ensemble of Pan-American musicians on tours that have traversed from Chile and Argentina to Jamaica and Haiti to the United States and Canada, as well as across Europe. In the summer of 2018, Prieto led the ensemble in performances across Europe, conducting works by Barber, Bernstein, Chávez, Copland, Montero, Tchaikovsky, and Villa-Lobos, in Lus?awice, Poland; Wiesbaden and Hamburg in Germany; and in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the annual Edinburgh International Festival.

Prieto's commitment to young artists was recognized by Carnegie Hall and he was tapped to lead its annual NYO2 initiative, a free program that brings together outstanding young American instrumentalists (ages 14-17) from across the U.S. for intensive training and performance opportunities, which culminated in performances at Miami's New World Center and in New York's Carnegie Hall in July 2018.

Prieto's extensive recordings include two recordings with violinist Philippe Quint, one with works by Bruch, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn (Avanticlassic), and another with Korngold's Violin Concerto (Naxos) which received two Grammy nominations. He also recently recorded Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos No. 2 and 3 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and pianist Boris Giltburg (Naxos). He has several recordings with The Orchestra of the Americas, featuring works by Brahms, Bernstein, Shostakovich and Revueltas, among others. In Spring 2013, Prieto released a 12-DVD set of live recordings of the complete symphonies of Mahler as part of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería's 35th Anniversary season.

For more information about Carlos Miguel Prieto, visit his website.

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