The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of the final concert of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's 2014-15 season, its second under the leadership of music director Brett Mitchell:
So polished, so mature were the performances Sunday night at Severance Hall by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, even their namesake's most discriminating audience would have fallen under their sway. Hand it to Brett Mitchell, the group's director. Even as he rightly praised parents and teachers for bringing up musical teenagers, the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra also could have taken credit himself for turning a band of skilled individuals into a disciplined, cohesive ensemble.
Barber's Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance...enabled the ensemble to demonstrate the full range of its abilities. The Meditation revealed its dark, mysterious side while the Dance, a frenetic romp, proved just how unified and purposeful 100 players can sound.
Again and again, the orchestra under Mitchell captured the essence of a work known to daunt professionals [Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra]. Every technical challenge Bartók threw at them, the musicians hurdled like Olympians. As the music screamed and sang, laughed and roared, so did the orchestra, with all possible vigor and precision.
Too bad Sunday was COYO's season finale. At this point, the group could do just about anything.
To read the complete review, please click here.