Hailed for delivering compelling performances of innovative, eclectic programs, Brett Mitchell was named the fourth Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in September 2016. He served as the orchestra’s Music Director Designate during the 2016-17 season, and began his four-year appointment in September 2017.
Mr. Mitchell concluded his tenure as Associate Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra in August 2017. He joined the orchestra as Assistant Conductor in 2013, and was promoted to Associate Conductor in 2015, becoming the first person to hold that title in over three decades and only the fifth in the orchestra's hundred-year history. In this role, he led the orchestra in several dozen concerts each season at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center, and on tour. Mr. Mitchell also served as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO), which he led on a four-city tour of China in June 2015, marking the ensemble's second international tour and its first to Asia.
In addition to his work in Cleveland and Denver, Mr. Mitchell is in consistent demand as a guest conductor. Recent and upcoming guest engagements include his debuts at the Grant Park Music Festival in downtown Chicago, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Aukland and Wellington, and the San Antonio Symphony, as well as appearances with the Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, National, and Oregon symphonies, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others. He has collaborated with such soloists as Rudolf Buchbinder, James Ehnes, Renée Fleming, Augustin Hadelich, Leila Josefowicz, and Alisa Weilerstein.
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Mitchell led over one hundred performances as Assistant Conductor of the Houston Symphony, to which he frequently returns as a guest conductor. He also held Assistant Conductor posts with the Orchestre National de France, where he worked under Kurt Masur from 2006 to 2009, and the Castleton Festival, where he worked under Lorin Maazel in 2009 and 2010. In 2015, Mr. Mitchell completed a highly successful five-year appointment as Music Director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, where an increased focus on locally relevant programming and community collaborations resulted in record attendance throughout his tenure.
As an opera conductor, Mr. Mitchell has served as music director of nearly a dozen productions, principally at his former post as Music Director of the Moores Opera Center in Houston, where he led eight productions from 2010 to 2013. His repertoire spans the core works of Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute), Verdi (Rigoletto and Falstaff), and Stravinsky (The Rake's Progress) to contemporary works by Adamo (Little Women), Aldridge (Elmer Gantry), Catán (Il Postino and Salsipuedes), and Hagen (Amelia). As a ballet conductor, Mr. Mitchell most recently led a production of The Nutcracker with the Pennsylvania Ballet in collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra during the 2016-17 season.
In addition to his work with professional orchestras, Mr. Mitchell is also well known for his affinity for working with and mentoring young musicians aspiring to be professional orchestral players. His work with COYO during his Cleveland Orchestra tenure was highly praised, and he is regularly invited to work with the highly talented musicians at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the orchestras at this country’s high level training programs, such as the National Repertory Orchestra, Texas Music Festival, and Sarasota Music Festival.
Born in Seattle in 1979, Mr. Mitchell holds degrees in conducting from the University of Texas at Austin and composition from Western Washington University, which selected him in as its Young Alumnus of the Year in 2014. He also studied at the National Conducting Institute, and was selected by Kurt Masur as a recipient of the inaugural American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation Scholarship. Mr. Mitchell was also one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ American Conducting Fellowship from 2007 to 2010.
[September 2017. Please destroy any undated or previously dated materials.]