Review: Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra "is one that many cities would be happy to have as their professional orchestra"

ClevelandClassical has published a review of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's send-off concert in advance of their four-city tour of China.

On Sunday, June 14 at Severance Hall, a large and enthusiastic audience was treated to a thrilling send-off concert when music director Brett Mitchell led his talented young musicians in works by Shostakovich, Kilar, Barber, and Tchaikovsky.

The program opened with an exuberant performance of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture. Following the grand brass fanfare, Mitchell set a fast tempo for the wind section’s opening melodic lines, which they played with aplomb. Throughout, the orchestra produced a clear, lush sound... Mitchell led COYO’s string section in an inspired performance [of Wojciech Kilar's Orawa] and they sounded splendid... Samuel Barber gives the wind section ample opportunity to shine in [Medea's Dance of Vengeance], and shine they did. Mitchell kept the tempos in check without losing any of the work's wonderfully hysterical qualities.

Following intermission, Mitchell and his brass section held back nothing as they launched into Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. As this ensemble has proven in the past, it is one that many cities would be happy to have as their professional orchestra. Mitchell again led a technically clean and musically thoughtful performance.

After acknowledging the audience ovation, COYO gave a fitting good-bye with an encore — a Huang Ruo arrangement of a traditional Chinese folksong.

To read the complete review, please click here.