Widely celebrated as a rising star in the US, Canada, and his native Mexico, Carlos Miguel Prieto’s charismatic conducting, characterized by its dynamism and the expressivity of his interpretations, has led to major engagements and popular acclaim throughout North America and in Europe. In great demand as a guest conductor with many of the top North American orchestras, including Chicago, Cleveland, Seattle, Oregon, Toronto and Vancouver symphony orchestras, his relationships with orchestras in Europe, Latin America and the United Kingdom continue to expand.
Recognized as the leading Mexican conductor of his generation, Prieto has been the Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico (OSN), the country’s most important orchestra, since 2007. The following year he was appointed Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (OSM), a hand-picked orchestra which performs a two month long series of summer programmes in Mexico City.
2015 – 2016 marks Prieto’s tenth season as Music Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), where he has led the cultural renewal of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In May 2013 Prieto’s contract was unanimously extended to the 2018-2019 season. The string of international soloists, such as violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and guitarist Pepe Romero, who now appear with the LPO are testament to his achievements with the orchestra.
Following summer 2015 performances with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería and with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas in its 2015 Pan- American Tour, Maestro Prieto’s 2015-2016 season includes overseeing the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, including the orchestra’s triumphant return to its restored home, the Orpheum. Season highlights include debuts with the UK’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, France’s Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Germany’s Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and the San Diego Symphony leading the US premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’s Concierto Voltage: Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra with timpanist Gabriela Jimenez, and return engagements with Spain’s Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Canada’s Vancouver Symphony and the US’s Kansas City Symphony. Prieto also conducts four world premieres during the season – with the OSN he presents Alexis Aranda’s Magnitude 8.1 (commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1985 Earthquake) and Piramide del Sol for piano and orchestra by Juan Pablo Contreras, with the LPO, the world premiere of the anniversary commission Laurifer nisus Quadrancentennial by David Anderson, and also Tucker Fuller’s new musical score set to Allain Andry’s popular children’s book, Louis the Buoy!.
In recent seasons Prieto has appeared with Germany’s NDR Radiophilharmonie at the Rheingau Musik Festival and NDR Sinfonieorchester; New Zealand’s Aukland Philharmonia Orchestra, Scotland’s BBC Scottish Symphony and Great Britain’s Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (leading the UK premiere of Giovanni Sollima’s Antidotum Tarantulae XXI, Concerto for Two Cellos), France’s Orquestre Nacional de Lyon, Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic, as well as regularly in Spain conducting orchestras such as the RTVE Orchestra – Orquesta Radio Television Espanola, Bilbao Orkestrea Sinfonikoa, Orquesta de Valencia and Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in both subscription and Ravina Festival concerts.
A staunch proponent of music education, Prieto has served as Music Director of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas, a world-class symphony orchestra of 100 musical leaders, ages 18 to 30, representing 25 countries of the Western Hemisphere since 2011. He previously served as principal conductor of the organization from its inception in 2001, when it was jointly founded by New England Conservatory, VISIÓN, and El Sistema, together with the support of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, the Organization of American States, and the Inter-American Development Bank. To date YOA has reached over 12 million people through television & radio broadcasts, CD recordings, print, and television. In early 2010 Prieto conducted the YOA alongside Valery Gergiev on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the World Economic Forum at Carnegie Hall.
A naturally inquisitive musician of broad and varied interests, Prieto is renowned for championing Latin American music and has conducted over 50 world premieres of works by Mexican and American composers many of which were commissioned by him.
Prieto has an extensive discography that covers labels including Naxos, Sony, Cedille Records, and Orchid Classics. Recent recordings include the 2016 Latin Grammy Award-winning recording (Best Classical Album) on Orchid Classics featuring Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18; Gabriela Montero’s Ex Patria, Op. 1, and Improvisations, with pianist Gabriela Montero and the YOA Orchestra of the Americas; a highly acclaimed CD for Cedille featuring Carlos Chavez’s Piano Concerto with pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico; and two recordings with violinist Philippe Quint and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería: for Avanticlassic a CD of works by Bruch, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and for Naxos, Korngold’s Violin Concerto, which received two Grammy nominations. With the Orquesta Sinfónica de Prieto released a 12-DVD set of live recordings of the complete Symphonies of Gustav Mahler as part of 35th Anniversary season.
Also an accomplished violinist, Carlos Miguel Prieto has performed as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de 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, United States, and throughout Europe.
A graduate of Princeton and Harvard universities, Carlos Miguel Prieto studied conducting with Jorge Mester, Enrique Diemecke, Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo