Maestro Nir Kabaretti
Nir Kabaretti, Music & Artistic Director
The John M. and Linda L. Hedgepeth Conductor’s Podium
Official website: nirkabaretti.com
Born in Israel, Nir Kabaretti is the Music and Artistic Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. He has established an outstanding international career as a dynamic and innovative conductor with vast experience in both the symphonic and operatic repertoire. He was selected from over 300 candidates to head the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006, and continues to collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned musicians, orchestras and opera houses.
Upon graduation from the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Kabaretti was appointed chorus master of the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He served as assistant to the music director of Teatro Real in Madrid, and as Zubin Mehta’s personal assistant and conductor at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In 2004, Kabaretti made his Teatro alla Scala di Milano debut in Tchaikowsky’s The Nutcracker, and in 2007 he returned to La Scala for Mendelssohn’s Ballet Midsummer Night’s Dream, a production released on commercial DVD and aired on Italy’s national RAI.
Nir Kabaretti conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, Orquestre National du Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “La Verdi”, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon Le Tzion, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester, La Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid, La Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria and the Bochumer Symphoniker.
He was appointed Principal Conductor of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra in Israel in 2002 and served as its music director until 2008.
Kabaretti’s operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Macbeth, Il Trovatore, Gianni Schicchi, The Journey to Rheims), Teatro Real in Madrid (Cenerentola, Die Walküre), The Israeli Opera (Fidelio, Manon Lescaut), Opéra de Lausanne (Nino Rota’s Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze, Die Fledermaus) and The New National Theatre in Tokyo (The Barber of Seville). He also conducted The Diary of Anne Frank, a visiting production of the Vienna State Opera, at both the Bregenz Festival and at Expo 2000 in Hanover. In 2005 Kabaretti led Teatro San Carlo di Napoli on its first tour to Japan, conducting Il Trovatore both in Kyoto and Tokyo.
Kabaretti was awarded the 1993 Forum Junger Kustler Conducting Competition Award (Vienna). He became a finalist of the 1994 Competition for Conductors (Douai, France) and was awarded the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Grant for Young Conductors.
In 2014, Kabaretti was named the new Music Director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in Fort Myers, Florida.