Rafael Payare

The San Diego Symphony today announced that Rafael Payare will become the orchestra’s next an 13th Music Director. Payare will begin a four-year contract immediately, serving as Music Director Designate for the first year, and begin the role of Music Director on July 1, 2019. Payare will debut at the San Diego podium in his new role January 2019, when he kicks off the fourth annual San Diego Symphony January festival.

Payare – currently Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival and Honorary Conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia – will succeed Jahja Ling, whose tenure began in 2004-05. Payare will conduct the San Diego Symphony for 10 weeks each season.

Since his first prize at the Malko Conducting Competition in 2012, Payare is internationally successful. Born in 1980 and a graduate of the Venezuelan education program, El Sistema, Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu.

  • Pizzicato

  • Archives