Cultured Cleveland has reviewed Brett Mitchell's first concert as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. "Talk about setting the bar high: For his Severance Hall debut with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, new [Cleveland Orchestra] Assistant Conductor Brett Mitchell programmed three 20th-century works, two of which would challenge any professional orchestra, along with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Thatʼs beyond bold. But it’s entirely in keeping with the career arc of Mitchell, 34, whose youthful demeanor and appearance belie his experience. The players responded [in Shostakovich’s Festive Overture] with a big, bright sound, particularly in the horns, and dexterous work in the strings and woodwinds. It was a brief but convincing display of outsized skills. The players handled [Wojciech Kilarʼs Orawa] with alacrity and poise, showing remarkable discipline and precision. Mitchell set a brisk pace for Pictures at an Exhibition, keeping the sound big rather than heavy. Overall the piece had a notably professional gloss, and finished with a satisfying sense of accomplishment. If their ambitious start with Mitchell is any indication, there’s an exciting two years ahead for players and audiences alike." To read the complete review, please click here.