Carlos Miguel Prieto was born into a musical family of Spanish and French descent in Mexico City. His charismatic conducting, characterised by its dynamism and the expressivity of his interpretations, has led to major engagements and popular acclaim throughout North America and in Europe. Prieto is in great demand as a guest conductor with many of the top North American orchestra including Cleveland, Dallas, Toronto and Houston Symphony orchestras and has enjoyed a particularly close and successful relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Prieto is recognised as a highly influential cultural leader as well as being the leading Mexican conductor of his generation and has been the Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, the country’s most important orchestra, since 2007. The following year he was appointed Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, a hand-picked orchestra which performs a two month long series of summer programmes in Mexico City.
2016 - 2017 marks Prieto’s eleventh season as Music Director of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), where he has led the cultural renewal of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and overseen the triumphant return of the orchestra to its home, the Orpheum Theater. In May 2013 Prieto’s contract was unanimously extended to the 2018-2019 season. The string of international soloists, such as violinists Joshua Bell and Augustin Hadelich and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who now appear with the LPO are testament to his inspirational leadership of the orchestra.
Prieto’s 2016-17 season includes performances throughout Europe, North America and Latin America with orchestras including the Hallé Orchestra, Minnesota, Detroit Symphony, Orquesta Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa and Residentie Orkest. Prieto makes his London conducting debut at the Barbican Centre with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and embarks on a nine-concert tour of Germany and Austria with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México performing at venues including the Wiener Musikverein, Großes Festspielhaus Salzburg, Kölner Philharmonie and Alte Oper Frankfurt.
Recent highlights have included the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover at Rheingau Festival, NDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, as well as regular appearances in Spain conducting orchestras such as the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de Valencia and Orquesta del Principado de Asturias.
Since 2002, alongside Gustavo Dudamel, Prieto has conducted the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, which draws young musicians from the entire American continent. A staunch proponent of music education, Prieto served as Principal Conductor of the YOA from its inception until 2011 when he was appointed Music Director. In early 2010 he 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 100 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 and Sony. Recent recordings include works by Bruch, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, with violinist Philippe Quint and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería on Avanticlassic, and Korngold’s Violin Concerto on Naxos, which received two Grammy nominations. In spring 2013, Prieto released a 12-DVD set of live recordings of the complete Symphonies of Gustav Mahler as part of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería 35th Anniversary season. Future releases include recordings with Boris Giltburg for Naxos and Ning Feng for Channel Classics.
Also an accomplished violinist, Carlos Miguel Prieto has performed as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, 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.