Las Vegas conductor to record at Abbey Road with London Philharmonic

Music composer Juan Pablo Contreras, right, with conductor Donato Cabrera, speaks during the La ...

When we most recently chatted with Donato Cabrera, the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s music director was premiering Juan Pablo Contreras’ original piece, “MeChicano.” The composition debuted in May at The Smith Center.

Cabrera’s upcoming collaboration is based in another part of the world, London. Two concertos are planned, both associated with the Beatles. Not musically, but in their recording environment. Cabrera is conducting these works at Abbey Road studios, along with the London Philharmonic, at the end of July.

The first work is titled for its composer, “Paul Lorenz’s Violin Concerto No. 2.” The second is “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.”

Always exploring musical adventures, Cabrera is suitably thrilled to be recording at Abbey Road.

“This is the same facility where the Beatles recorded, absolutely. It is my first time there, so I am very excited,” Donato said in a recent phone chat. “There are at least two studios, maybe three, at Abbey Road. I’m not sure which one we will use, but you might see the ubiquitous photo of me walking across the ‘Abbey Road’ album crosswalk.”

Acclaimed violinist Alexandra Tirsu is featured in both concertos. Cabrera met Tirsu, who lives in Vienna, through a mutual friend and she suggested him to conduct the sessions.

The 30-year-old Tirsu and has won several international music competitions, and is considered among the leading young violinists in the world.

Elsewhere, Cabrera restated his interest in working with such Las Vegas bands as The Killers, Imagine Dragons and/or Panic! At the Disco for symphonic rock shows. His vision is to establish a Vegas orchestral event similar to the San Francisco Symphony’s artistic collaborations with Metallica. Cabrera is also interested in working with Vegas songwriters to bring their compositions to a symphonic format, mentioning some of Jerry Lopez of Santa Fe & The Fat City Horn’s Spanish-language compositions.

Late in the conversation, we touched on the then-upcoming show by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine at Sunset Station. Could Cheese’s send-ups of “Creep” by Radiohead, “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd and “Enter Sandman” by Metallica be adapted to symphony arrangements?

Cabrera laughed at that proposal. But he didn’t turn it back.

“We could do it,” the conductor said. “Yes, that might have to happen.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.