An exciting and insightful communicator renowned for his charismatic presence on the conductor’s podium and his versatile command of various composers and styles, Carlos Miguel Prieto is considered one of the most dynamic young conductors on the classical stage today. Music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in his native Mexico, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States, Maestro Prieto was named music director of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas in November 2011. In high demand as a guest conductor, among Maestro Prieto’s numerous North American guest conducting credits are the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Toronto, Houston, Indianapolis, Colorado, Vancouver and San Antonio, and the philharmonic orchestras of Florida, New Mexico, Dayton and Calgary, and every major orchestra in Mexico. He has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, Russia, Israel and Latin America. Recent debuts abroad include the New Japan Philharmonic in Japan, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in Germany, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra in Utrecht.
Named music director of Mexico’s most important orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico in July 2007, Carlos Miguel Prieto is also music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, a post he accepted in 2008. 2012-2013 marks Prieto’s seventh season as music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic.
Fall 2012 began with concerts in Mexico, including performances with violinist Joshua Bell with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, and tenor Ramon Vargas with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. The Louisiana Philharmonic’s season included guest artists violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Joaquín Achúcarro, violinist Stephen Jackiw, and pianist Danny Driver, to name a few. North American guest engagements included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, debuts with the Memphis Symphony and the Grand Rapids Symphony, and the season opening concerts of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Abroad, Maestro Prieto guested with Spain's RTVE - Orquesta Radio Televisión Española, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Orquesta de Valencia and Orquesta del Principado de Asturias; Brazil’s Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais, and Germany’s Hessicher Rundfunk.
Upcoming concerts in the late spring/summer 2013 include performances with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, as well as two engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: four subscription series concerts with world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet at Symphony Center in late May; and a special one night anniversary concert at Ravinia on August 7th celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ravinia's Steans Institute of Music with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman and the RMSI Vocalists. Maestro Prieto also leads the YOA Orchestra of the Americas on its season centerpiece residence and concert tour "celebrating the legacy of global and regional connections to Central America." Running June 28 - August 5, the 2013 tour travels throughout Central America to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatamala and Belize, and honors the 500th Anniversary of Vasco Nunez de Balboa's First Sighting of the Pacific Ocean. Guest artists include renowned Chinese musician Tan Dun as Composer in Residence; acclaimed double bassist DaXun Zhang (Silk Road Ensemble); celebrated Canadian violinist James Ehnes; the energetic Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, passionate Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez, the award-winning Canadian pianist Xiaoyu Liu and Irish-born baritone Sam McElroy . Side-by-side collaborative concerts and master-classes join YOA musicians with young musicians from the National Youth Orchestras of Costa Rica and El Salvador, as well as the establishment of new National Youth Orchestras in Guatemala and Belize.
This past summer 2012, Maestro Prieto led the YOA Orchestra of the Americas in an acclaimed tour of Chile. Highlights of the 2011-12 season included presenting the world premiere of Ellen Taffe Zwilich's Shadows for Piano and Orchestra with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the continuation of a multi-year partnership between the Louisiana Philharmonic and The Historic New Orleans Collection, funded by a generous award of $750,000 to the orchestra from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation over a 30-month period. Prieto conducted all of Shostakovich's concerti and symphonies with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, and led the Orquesta Sinfonica de Minería in a complete cycle of Sibelius's symphonies. Guest engagements included the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (hr-Sinfonieorchester), Württembergische Philharmonie, and the Seattle, Chicago, and Vancouver Symphonies.
Past engagements of note include conducting the YOA Orchestra of the Americas in 2010, alongside Valery Gergiev, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the World Economic Forum at Carnegie Hall. In 2008-2009, Prieto debuted with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. Overseas, Prieto made his Budapest Symphony debut at the Franz Liszt Academy in February 2007, the first time ever an all-Mexican program was performed in Hungary. Later that year he was also Mexico’s delegate to the Davos World Economic Forum.
In the recording arena, Mr. Prieto has made a series of recordings of Latin American and Mexican music for the Urtext label. His most recent recording (April 2013) for Cedille Records is a CD of Mexican composer Carlos Chavez's rarely performed/recorded 1940 Piano Concerto, featuring Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional. Also on the CD are Chavez's Meditacion, Jose Palo Moncayo's Muro Verdes, and the world premiere recording of Samuel Zyman's Variations on an Original THeme. His latest recent recording with violinist Philippe Quint and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería features Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26, Ludwig van Beethoven's Romances and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 for Avanticlassic. His recording of Korngold’s Violin Concerto with violinist Philippe Quint and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería for Naxos received a Grammy nomination. With Mineria, Prieto released a 12 DVD set of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1 - 10 as part of the orchestra's 35th anniversary season. Recorded live at Sala Nezahualcoyotl at Mexico City's Centro Cultural Universitario, the set also features numerous bonus tracks.
Among the honors bestowed upon him are the Order of Orange-Nassau, Grade of Officer, from the government of the Netherlands Kingdom, “Conductor of the Year 2002”, from the Mexican Union of Music and Theatre Critics, and the Mozart Medal of Honor presented by the Government of Mexico and the Embassy of Austria in 1998.
A champion of contemporary music, Mr. Prieto has conducted over 50 world premieres of works by Mexican and American composers, many of which were commissioned by him. A staunch proponent of music education as well, Maestro Prieto has served as principal conductor of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) from its inception in 2002 until 2011, when he was appointed music director. He has performed with this enthusiastic ensemble at the United Nations and the Kennedy Center, as well as touring with them throughout South America and Mexico.
In addition to his present directorships, Maestro Prieto served as music director of Alabama’s Huntsville Symphony for eight years (2003-2011). He is the founder and music director of the Mozart-Haydn Festival, an annual series of six concerts dedicated to the symphonic music of these two composers. Earlier posts at the beginning of his career included music directorships with the Mexico City Philharmonic (1998 to 2002) and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa (2002-2007), and serving as assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
An accomplished violinist, Carlos Miguel Prieto has played as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, and has participated in the music festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, Interlochen, San Miguel Allende and Cervantino. Continuing a family tradition that reaches back four generations, he also has been a member of the Cuarteto Prieto, with which he has performed in the most important halls of Mexico, in the U.S., and throughout Europe.
A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Universities (where he was concertmaster of the orchestra), Carlos Miguel Prieto studied conducting with Jorge Mester, Enrique Diemecke, Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo.