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Music Director


Max Bragado-Darman, Monterey Symphony

Max Bragado-Darman, Music Director and Conductor, Monterey Symphony

During the 2012–13 Season, the Monterey Symphony presented its first Season of the Piano. Its success, the existence of such a vast and rich repertoire for piano and orchestra and our magnificent Hamburg Steinway encouraged us to present Concert Grand. Unquestionably, the repertoire for this genre is favored by classical music lovers world wide.

The Monterey Symphony has invited artists who are already members of our family such as Orion Weiss, Phillippe Bianconi, and Josu de Solaun, who was the winner of the famous Enescu Piano Competition. We will also welcome two winners of the prestigious Santander Competition, making their Monterey Symphony debuts. Two outstanding artists, a conductor and a pianist from the Curtis Institute, will come to perform an all Mozart program.

This new 2017–18 Season is filled with repertoire loved by all audiences, and it balances the virtuosity of our guests with the brilliance of our wonderful orchestra that will shine in such marvelous works as Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony”, Dvořák’s “New World Symphony” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” The concertos we will be performing are dazzling, popular and have not been presented to our audiences for many years. I am charged with enthusiasm about this season and invite all of you to join us to enjoy the classics that everyone loves. Thousands of children will hear our programs through our award winning youth concerts, with the continuing enthusiasm of everyone involved with our organization.

Welcome to the 2017–18 Season!

As always,

Max Bragado-Darman

Max Bragado-Darman,
Music Director and Conductor of the Monterey Symphony

Max Bragado-Darman has served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Monterey Symphony since July 2004. Mr. Bragado-Darman was Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Castile and León in Valladolid, Spain, for nine years. From its formation in 1991, he built it into one of the most prestigious orchestras in Spain. Under his direction, the orchestra performed for enthusiastic audiences in all the major cities of Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany. He recorded with this ensemble many unknown works of the Spanish repertoire as well as most of the orchestral works of Turina and Rodrigo on the Naxos label.

In May 1995, Max Bragado-Darman was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. Under his direction, the orchestra grew in popularity due to his rapport with audiences, the community in general, and his innovative programming. He has worked with distinguished artists such as Alicia de Larrocha, Teresa Berganza, Horacio Gutièrrez, Elmar Oliveira, Dubravka Tomsic, Andre Watts, Angel Romero, Gary Graffman, and Aaron Rosand among many others.

As a guest conductor, Max Bragado-Darman has performed in the United States with the symphony orchestras of Honolulu, San Diego, Nashville, Delaware, West Virginia, Cedar Rapids, Savannah, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Austin, Fresno, and Boulder. He has led the National Orchestra, the Radio Television Orchestra and most other orchestras of Spain, as well as orchestras in Portugal, England, Argentina, Germany, and Mexico. In the fall of 2003, he made his debut at the distinguished Wexford Opera Festival with the Granados opera “Maria del Carmen,” in a version he researched and edited himself.

His conducting career has been guided by the knowledge he received from teachers and musicians such as Robert Fountain, Robert Baustian, George Szell, Igor Markevich and Franco Ferrara. Most recently, Max Bragado-Darman has appeared on the podiums of orchestras in Monterrey, Mexico and Mexico City. In the spring of 2009, in the heart of Andalucia he took on the challenge of presenting a fusion of flamenco and classical music featuring a pianist, guitarist, dancer, and full symphony orchestra. He has been the conductor for the prestigious “Iturbi Piano Competition” in Valencia, Spain for the last two editions.

Max and Mary Bragado have two children: Julio who was formerly a dancer with The American Ballet Theatre and is now studying acting in New York City, and Ilia who teaches dance in Valladolid, Spain and is married to José Manuel Concejo. They have two grandsons,  Max and Alejandro. Both grandchildren are enchanted with their “Abuelito” and “Granny.”