About the Santa Barbara Symphony

Music & Artistic Director

Nir Kabaretti, Music & Artistic Director

The John M. and Linda L. Hedgepeth Conductor’s Podium

Official website: nirkabaretti.com

Italo-Israeli conductor, Nir Kabaretti, has established an impressive international career with vast experience in the symphonic, operatic and ballet repertoire.

Music and Artistic Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony since 2006, he is also Music Director of the Southwest Florida Symphony since 2014.

Upon graduation from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Kabaretti was appointed Chorus Master of the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. Other positions in his early career include assistant to the Music Director of Teatro Real in Madrid and Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. During this period he was working closely with some of the world’s leading conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon and Zubin Mehta.

Nir Kabaretti's guest conducting engagements include the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, Orquestre National du Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, La Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid, Bochumer Symphoniker, National Taiwan Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and many others.

Some of Kabaretti’s operatic and ballet experience include stage productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real in Madrid, Israeli Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Avenches Festival, New National Theatre in Tokyo, La Scala di Milano, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro dell' Opera di Roma, Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari and Opera Santa Barbara.

Winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kustler Conducting Competition (Vienna), and a finalist of the 1994 Competition for Conductors in Douai (France), Kabaretti was also awarded the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Grant for Young Conductors.

He lives with his wife Gaja and their children Adam and Amanda in Santa Barbara.