Denver Style Magazine: 'Drinks with Brett Mitchell, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony'

Denver Style Magazine has published an off-the-podium feature about Brett Mitchell during his first season as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony.

 Photo by Noah Berg

Photo by Noah Berg

The Colorado Symphony has been going through a bit of a rebirth recently.... At the helm of this rebirth now is music director Brett Mitchell, who began his tenure in September of 2017. New to Denver, Brett’s led the Cleveland and Houston symphonies prior to heading west and landing in Denver. Brett met us at the new FNG to share more about his off-stage persona.

What’s the one item you regret throwing away or not buying?
I had a little bit of an “Eat Pray Love” moment right after I turned 30 when I decided to take a trip to Japan alone. I’m a big Superman fan, and brought three designs of the S-Shield with the intent of getting it tattooed on my left delt, but never followed through. Would have been a great commemoration of my trip, and I’ve regretted not getting it ever since.

What are you always telling yourself?
Go to bed! I’m a night owl and a workaholic, but I always try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. That’s tricky, because I also have a rule that I have to be up at least 3 hours before I’m in front of anyone - anything less than that, and I’m just not quite at 100%.

 Photo by Noah Berg

Photo by Noah Berg

What is your not so secret indulgence?
My dad bought me a watch when I was 7 years old to commemorate a special occasion, and I’ve been a diehard watch guy ever since. As I’ve advanced in my career, I’ve been able to buy increasingly nicer watches, partly because I spend way more time on Hodinkee than I probably should.

What do you wear that makes you feel the most confident?
BWM: There’s something about the ritual of suiting up before a concert and walking onstage wearing all black that I really love. People pay good money to come see the Colorado Symphony, and it’s not enough for us to sound good - we have to look good, too.

If you had more time, what would you do with it?
Three things: 1) Run for office. 2) Act. 3) Read more.

'Gods and Monsters: The Musical Journey of Wagner's Ring Cycle'

Brett Mitchell has created, written, and presented a new television special about Richard Wagner's music for the Ring Cycle, produced by ideastream in Cleveland. In Gods and Monsters: The Musical Journey of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Mr. Mitchell demonstrates at the piano how Wagner crafted and combined leitmotifs to tell one of the greatest stories of all time. Watch the program above.

Preview: 'The Ring without Words' with the CIM Orchestra

Cleveland Scene has published a brief preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming performance with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra:

Former Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell will return to town to lead the CIM Orchestra in the late Lorin Maazel’s The Ring Without Words, a compact, user-friendly, no-singers-in-sight version of Richard Wagner’s cycle of four operas based on old Norse Legends. The free concert takes place on Wednesday, March 28 at 8:00 pm in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Can’t make it to the performance? It’ll be broadcast live over WCLV, 104.9 FM.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Video: Brett Mitchell discusses John Williams's score for 'Star Wars'

 Brett Mitchell in the Colorado Public Radio studios. (Photo by CPR/Monica Vischer)

Brett Mitchell in the Colorado Public Radio studios. (Photo by CPR/Monica Vischer)

Before leading the Colorado Symphony in performances of the score of Star Wars: A New Hope this weekend, Brett Mitchell sat down with David Rutherford in the Colorado Public Radio Performance Studio to explore some of the highlights of John Williams's iconic soundtrack.

Mr. Mitchell talked about the discussions between Williams and director George Lucas that helped spawn some of the most memorable film music in history, and he showed how Williams used musical themes to represent different characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader.

Watch the conversation in the video below, or read the article from Colorado Public Radio: "Watch: John Williams' Music For 'Star Wars' Is Brilliant In Ways You Never Realized."

Preview: Minnesota Orchestra's 2018-19 season includes Brett Mitchell's debut

 Brett Mitchell will make his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in a program of Puts, Shostakovich, and Beethoven in Orchestra Hall on November 15, 16, and 17, 2018.

Brett Mitchell will make his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in a program of Puts, Shostakovich, and Beethoven in Orchestra Hall on November 15, 16, and 17, 2018.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has published an article about the Minnesota Orchestra's newly announced 2018-19 season, which will feature Brett Mitchell's debut on the orchestra's classical series.

Conductor Brett Mitchell makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut for a bill that includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto [with Principal Cello Anthony Ross] and works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, who directs the orchestra’s Composer Institute (Nov. 15-17).

Read the article: "Minnesota Orchestra’s season includes an all-American fest, rapper Dessa, ‘Star Wars’ and yoga"

Season Announcement: "Cleveland Orchestra stocks 2018-19 season with new, unusual and ambitious music"

 Brett Mitchell will return to Severance Hall to lead The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 season finale. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell will return to Severance Hall to lead The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 season finale. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published an article about The Cleveland Orchestra's newly announced 2018-19 season, which features Brett Mitchell's return to the Severance Hall stage. Mr. Mitchell will lead three performances of George Gershwin's An American in Paris—accompanying the classic 1951 film—on May 30, 31, and June 1, 2019, the orchestra's season finale weekend.

Mr. Mitchell served on The Cleveland Orchestra's conducting staff from 2013 to 2017, first as Assistant Conductor (2013-15), then as Associate Conductor (2015-17). These performances mark Mr. Mitchell's second return to the orchestra since his departure to become Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in 2017.

Read the article: "Cleveland Orchestra stocks 2018-19 season with new, unusual and ambitious music"

Brett Mitchell returns to The Cleveland Orchestra

 Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 season finale in Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 season finale in Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell will return to Severance Hall to lead The Cleveland Orchestra's 2018-19 subscription season finale, the organization has announced. Mr. Mitchell will lead three performances of George Gershwin's An American in Paris—accompanying the classic 1951 film—on May 30, 31, and June 1, 2019.

Mr. Mitchell served on The Cleveland Orchestra's conducting staff from 2013 to 2017, first as Assistant Conductor (2013-15), then as Associate Conductor (2015-17). These performances mark Mr. Mitchell's second return to the orchestra since his departure to become Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in 2017.

For more information about these performances, please click here.

Colorado Symphony announces its 2018-19 season, Brett Mitchell's second as Music Director

The Colorado Symphony has announced its 2018-19 season, which marks Brett Mitchell's second as Music Director. Over the course of the season, Mr. Mitchell will lead the orchestra in ten classical subscription weeks and half a dozen other special projects.

Demonstrating his deep commitment to American music, Mr. Mitchell will conduct works by twenty American composers over the course of the Colorado Symphony's 2018-19 season. After opening the season with a world premiere by the orchestra's principal timpanist, William Hill, Mr. Mitchell will lead works by an additional ten living American composers: John Adams, John Williams, Matthew Jackfert, Randol Alan Bass, Jennifer Higdon, Joseph Schwantner, Mason Bates, Kevin Puts, Missy Mazzoli, and Adam Schoenberg. Mr. Mitchell will also lead nine works by previous generations of American composers: Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Bernard Herrmann, Peter Lieberson, David Diamond, Leonard Bernstein, and Charles Ives.

Additional highlights of Mr. Mitchell's second season as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony include:

Mr. Mitchell will collaborate with the following soloists during the Colorado Symphony's 2018-19 season:

  • Jeremy Denk plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 (Sep. 14-16)
  • Joyce Yang plays Gershwin's Concerto in F (Sep. 28-30)
  • Actor Damon Gupton narrates Copland's Lincoln Portrait and Joseph Schwantner's New Morning for the World (Daybreak of Freedom) (Jan. 18-20)
  • Mezzo-soprano Kelly O'Connor sings Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs (Feb. 14-17)
  • Joshua Roman plays Mason Bates's Cello Concerto (Mar. 1-3)
  • Augustin Hadelich plays the Barber Violin Concerto (Mar. 29-31)
  • Colorado Symphony principal oboist Peter Cooper plays Kevin Puts's Oboe Concerto (Apr. 12-14)
  • Conrad Tao plays Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major (May 10-12)

Mr. Mitchell will lead several other special programs throughout the season, including:

  • An Evening with Leslie Odom, Jr. (Oct. 13)
  • Home Alone (complete film with John Williams's score performed live, Nov. 23)
  • A Classical Christmas (Dec. 7-8)
  • New Year's Eve (Dec. 31)
  • Amadeus (complete film with Mozart's music performed live, Jan. 25-26)

Season Announcement: "A Peek At The Colorado Symphony's 2018-19 Schedule"

 Music Director Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Music Director Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Colorado Public Radio Classical has published a story about the Colorado Symphony's newly announced 2018-19 season, which will mark Brett Mitchell's second as Music Director:

The Colorado Symphony announced its plans for the 2018-19 season today. The lineup features masterworks, a smattering of pops concerts, and concerts by legendary violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman.

There’s also a healthy dose of music by living composers—one of Music Director Brett Mitchell’s passions—including Jennifer Higdon, Mason Bates, and John Adams.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

  • Sept. 14-16: The opening weekend program includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and a new piece by composer and Colorado Symphony timpanist William Hill.
  • Sept. 28-30: The orchestra performs George Gershwin’s Concerto in F with pianist Joyce Yang. The program also includes Duke Ellington’s “Three Black Kings” and John Adams’ “City Noir.”
  • Nov. 2-4: The symphony marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s "War Requiem" with the Colorado Symphony Chorus and Colorado Children’s Chorale.
  • Jan. 10, 2019: Violinist Itzhak Perlman makes an appearance with the symphony, playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.
  • March 1-3: The symphony plays two pieces by composer Mason Bates, including a Cello Concerto with cellist Joshua Roman. The program includes Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven.
  • May 24-26: The season ends with a performance of Carl Orff’s powerful “Carmina Burana,” with help from the Colorado Symphony Chorus and Colorado Children’s Chorale.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Brett Mitchell returns to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

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Brett Mitchell will return to guest conduct the Dallas Symphony Orchestra during their 2018-19 season, the orchestra has announced. Mr. Mitchell will lead four performances of the following program on October, 4, 5, 6, and 7, 2018, at Meyerson Symphony Center:

THEOFANIDIS - Rainbow Body
ELGAR - Cockaigne (In London Town)
ORFF - Carmina Burana

Additional information can be found in the following articles: 

Preview: "Daphnis et Chloé" with the Colorado Symphony

 Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony and Chorus in works of Debussy, Salonen, and Ravel on February 2, 3, and 4 at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony and Chorus in works of Debussy, Salonen, and Ravel on February 2, 3, and 4 at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Westword (Denver) has included Brett Mitchell's upcoming subscription weekend with the Colorado Symphony on its list of "The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 30-February 5":

Valentine's Day is still weeks away, but readers can get into the loverly spirit early at a trio of concerts from the esteemed Colorado Symphony. Conductor Brett Mitchell welcomes the Colorado Symphony Chorus (under the direction of Duain Wolfe) and soprano Jessica Rivera to bring Maurice Ravel's "choreographed symphony," Daphnis et Chloé, to thrillingly balletic life. Romantic interpretations of the Greek mythos thematically bind a music program that also includes Claude Debussy's "Syrinx" and "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen's "Five Images After Sappho." Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 2, and Saturday, February 3, with an additional 1 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, February 4; all performances will be at Boettcher Concert Hall, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Visit the Symphony's box-office page for tickets, $15 to $89, and more details.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Video: "The new face of the Colorado Symphony"

Next with Kyle Clark, the 6 p.m. newscast from Denver's NBC affiliate, has produced a profile of Brett Mitchell as he continues into the second half of his inaugural season as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony.

To watch the profile as it appeared on the live broadcast, please click the video above or visit the story on 9NEWS's website: "The new face of the Colorado Symphony".

To watch an extended, unedited clip (12 min.), please click the video below.

Brett Mitchell's appointment as Music Director of Colorado Symphony featured in "The Year in Denver Arts and Culture"

 Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony welcomed soprano Renée Fleming for his inaugural concert as Music Director at Boettcher Concert Hall on September 9, 2017. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony welcomed soprano Renée Fleming for his inaugural concert as Music Director at Boettcher Concert Hall on September 9, 2017. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

The Denver Business Journal features Brett Mitchell's appointment as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in its 2017 year-in-review, "The Year in Denver Arts and Culture":

This was a year of fresh starts and breakthroughs on the local culture front... A look back at some cultural highlights of 2017:

The symphony gets a refresh. Brett Mitchell, new CSO conductor, bows with a season-opener concert featuring opera superstar Renée Fleming. In an interview with the Denver Business Journal, Mitchell said, “It takes years to figure out where a new music director is taking an orchestra,” Mitchell said. “The things you will notice right away are the programming… look at kinds of repertoire I like to program, you’ll see more of that contemporary American voice.” Overall, the down-to-earth maestro said, “my goal is to give the audience reason to come to the concert. Because I’ve got Spotify like everybody else. I could listen in my living room, with my glass of wine, with my wife, and not put pants on…”

To read the complete article, please click here. (Subscription required.)

Brett Mitchell's performances with The Cleveland Orchestra featured in "2017 Classical Music Year in Review"

 Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in four performances of  West Side Story  at Severance Hall in June 2017. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in four performances of West Side Story at Severance Hall in June 2017. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has included Brett Mitchell's performances of West Side Story with The Cleveland Orchestra among the highlights of its "2017 Classical Music Year in Review":

It had been a while since this fan had seen "West Side Story" or attended the complete score by Leonard Bernstein. But my love for both the film and the music came rushing back in June when the Cleveland Orchestra and then-associate conductor Brett Mitchell concluded their 2016-17 Severance Hall season with a stellar live performance of the work. If ever there were any doubts about orchestras accompanying films, that night laid them all to rest for good.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Yo-Yo Ma joins Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony (Sun., Dec. 10)

 The Colorado Symphony and music director Brett Mitchell welcome Yo-Yo Ma to Denver on Sunday, December 10.

The Colorado Symphony and music director Brett Mitchell welcome Yo-Yo Ma to Denver on Sunday, December 10.

Yo-Yo Ma will join the Colorado Symphony and music director Brett Mitchell for a sold-out performance on Sunday, December 10 at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver. On the program:

WILLIAMS - Sound the Bells!
COPLAND - Appalachian Spring (complete ballet for full orchestra)
DVOŘÁK - Cello Concerto

 To learn more, please click here.