The Maxine and Benjamin Swalin Chair
Carlos Miguel Prieto became Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony on July 1, 2023, at the beginning of the 2023/24 season. He first appeared with the Symphony as guest conductor in 2011 and was named Artistic Advisor in 2021.
Carlos Miguel Prieto was born into a musical family of Spanish and French descent in Mexico City and is the foremost Mexican conductor of his generation. He served from 2006 to 2023 as Music Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, where he is now Conductor Laureate. He was Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México from 2007 to 2022, and in 2008 he was appointed Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, which performs a series of summer programs in Mexico City.
Prieto is in great demand as a guest conductor with orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony, and has enjoyed a particularly close and successful relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2023 he made his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Since 2002, alongside Gustavo Dudamel, Prieto has conducted the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA). He served as Principal Conductor of the YOA from its inception until 2011, when he was appointed Music Director. He has also worked regularly with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the NYO2 in New York.
Prieto has conducted over 100 world premieres of works by Mexican and American composers, many of which were commissioned by him, and has championed works by Black and African American composers such as Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and Courtney Bryan, among others. Among his many recordings, his rendition of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 & Études-tableaux Op. 33, with Boris Giltburg and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, won a 2018 Opus Klassik award and was listed as a Gramophone Critics’ Choice for 2017. His recording of Korngold’s Violin Concerto with Philippe Quint and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería received two Grammy nominations.
Carlos Miguel Prieto was recognized by Musical America as the 2019 Conductor of the Year. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard universities, Prieto studied conducting with Jorge Mester, Enrique Diemecke, Charles Bruck, and Michael Jinbo.