“Rafael Payare, one of the classical music world’s most charismatic and acclaimed young conductors, has been selected as the San Diego Symphony’s next music director,” writes George Varga in Tuesday’s (2/13) San Diego Union Tribune. “The 37-year-old Venezuelan native will succeed Maestro Jahja Ling, who last year concluded his 13th and final season with the symphony. Payare begins immediately in his role as music director designate. He will officially assume his role as music director July 1, 2019, and make his debut as music director early next year … Payare has signed a four-year contract…. It calls for him to conduct 10 weeks here each season…. He is currently the music director of Ireland’s Ulster Orchestra—a position in which he will continue. Payare is a product of El Sistema. That’s the same Venezuelan education program that trained his friend, fellow conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Payare made his debut with the symphony here only a few weeks ago [conducting] Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Berlioz’s Roman Carnival and the San Diego debut of Robert Sierra’s Percussion Concerto.” Payare and his wife, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, live in Berlin with their daughter.

Posted February 14, 2018

Rafael Payare photo by Benjamin Ealovega