Donato Cabrera, born in California and raised in Nevada, became a conductor thanks to his Mexican grandmother.
“She would be the life of the party playing Mexican waltzes and marches that her father had taught her,” says Cabrera about his grandmother whose father, Luis Castillo, was a musician in Mexico. “I wanted to do what she did, so I insisted on taking piano lessons at 8 or 9 years old.”
Now the resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and the Wattis Foundation music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2009, Cabrera says what he loves most about his job is the idea of bringing people together. This Saturday, he is welcoming approximately 2,600 adults and children for the sixth annual Dia de los Muertos Community Concert in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.
“It is amazing — it’s already sold out — it sells out almost every…
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