(February 23, 2022, Raleigh, NC) – Today, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) announced the appointment of Carlos Miguel Prieto as its next Music Director. His initial four-year term as Music Director begins with the 2023-2024 season. He will serve as Music Director Designate during the 2022-2023 season. Prieto, who will become the sixth Music Director of the NCS, has personal roots in North Carolina and has been a regular guest conductor with the orchestra since 2011, serving audiences statewide. During the current season, Prieto serves as NCS Artistic Advisor with guest conductor appearances and artistic oversight.
Carlos Miguel Prieto is celebrated worldwide for his collaborative style, charismatic conducting, expressive interpretations, premiering and personally commissioning works by composers of the Americas, and his efforts to foster cultural exchange through music. Through the years, Prieto has led the NCS in a range of adventurous programs featuring works by Anna Clyne, Gabriela Ortiz, and many others. At the time that Prieto was recognized by Musical America as their 2019 Conductor of the Year, Yo-Yo Ma was quoted, saying, “Carlos Miguel is a conductor for our 21st century.”
“This is the beginning of a new era for the North Carolina Symphony,” said Don Davis, Chair of the NCS Board of Trustees. “I am honored to announce Carlos Miguel Prieto as the symphony’s next Music Director. In partnership with the incredible musicians of the symphony we have named an artistic leader, who with our CEO, Sandi Macdonald, sets the stage for what will undoubtedly be a bright musical future for our great North Carolina Symphony.”
Sandi Macdonald, President & CEO of the NCS said, “Quite simply, Carlos Miguel Prieto is exactly the right artistic leader for the NCS today and into the future. Carlos has been part of our family for more than a decade already, and the affinity between him and the musicians has been striking. With his appointment as Music Director, we have ensured the opportunity for this most promising partnership to continue to grow. Carlos shares the orchestra’s commitment to creating extraordinary musical experiences and connecting with the people of our state.”
“The chemistry between Carlos Miguel Prieto and the musicians was palpable as we considered the future of the NCS, a key resource and cornerstone of the cultural life of this state,” shared Catharine Arrowood, Chair of the NCS Music Director Search Committee. “We are thrilled to begin this new artistic chapter with Carlos’ leadership.”
The state of North Carolina’s orchestra, NCS has served richly diverse communities throughout the state for nine decades. NCS, which partners with the world’s greatest talents, is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and embraces artists with ties to the state, including recent collaborations with NCS’s 2021/22 Composer in Residence Anthony Kelley and composers Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Judd Greenstein and with William Brittelle whose commission, developed out of NCS’s multi-year residency with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and was performed throughout the state and at the Kennedy Center as part of their inaugural SHIFT Festival. Each year, more than 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement offerings reach adults and schoolchildren in all 100 North Carolina counties—in a variety of venues based in communities large and small, as well as through new online programming. In addition, NCS leads one of the most extensive education programs of any symphony orchestra in the country—serving over 100,000 students each year. Now, in partnership with Carlos Miguel Prieto, a community-focused and artistic visionary, the NCS is poised to thrive long into the future in service through music, to a growing audience throughout the state and around the world via the digital space.
Prieto returns to the NCS to conduct the opening concert of the 2022-2023 classical season at Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. He succeeds Grant Llewellyn, who served with distinction as Music Director of the NCS for 16 years. The NCS pays tribute to Llewellyn and his legacy with a celebratory performance on May 14, 2022, with soprano Renée Fleming.
The Board of the NCS recognizes, with gratitude, the thorough and intentional work by the NCS Music Director Search Committee. Committee members included individuals representing the NCS Board of Trustees, musicians and staff: Catharine Arrowood, David Sontag, Jud Bowman, David Meyer, Joseph Peters, Rajesh Prasad, Jackie Saed Wolborsky, Sandi Macdonald, and advisor Martin Sher.