The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published an article about Brett Mitchell's appointment as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony:
No longer is Brett Mitchell's musical future uncertain.
Now it's clear exactly where the associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra is headed: to the podium of the Colorado Symphony.
On Monday, the group announced the appointment of Mitchell as its next music director, for a four-year term officially commencing next year. He replaces conductor Andrew Litton, who has served in the post since 2012.
"It feels like that perfect marriage between an organization and an artistic leader," said Mitchell, also known locally as director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO).
"It was clearly a great match, from the first downbeat of the first rehearsal. You're always looking for an orchestra that you have real chemistry with."
For Mitchell, 37, here since 2013, the move to Colorado marks an unusually large step up the musical ladder. While most Cleveland assistants have gone on to great things, none have leapt straight to a prominent music directorship.
And yet the appointment is far from surprising. Indeed, for an orchestra like Colorado, just 26 years old and in the midst of a fiscal and artistic renaissance, Mitchell may be just the ticket.
Already Mitchell said he intends to be anything but a conventional music director, leading, as he did here in Cleveland, not only classical concerts but family and pops programs as well. He also has a great deal of comfort and experience speaking from the podium, and plans to continue the practice.
"[W]e have to recognize that Denver is a changing city, with younger audiences to engage," said Colorado Symphony board chair Jerry Kern, in a statement that included news of a healthy annual report. "We need to stay current..."
"I think it's going to be a ground-breaking partnership," added Mitchell.
Mitchell said his contract in Cleveland extends through the coming season. He will remain in Northeast Ohio through the coming year and fulfill all his regular duties, including those with COYO.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, he will serve as music director designate, appearing five times on a subscription series in his honor. He will officially take up the music director mantle and commence a four-year term at the start of the 2017-18 season.
"It's a forward-thinking orchestra," Mitchell said, "the kind I want to work for. I respect any organization that sees what it wants and goes out and gets it."
Respect, of course, is also what Mitchell feels for his current employer, which extended his contract and promoted him to associate conductor last year.
Having grown up in music listening to Cleveland Orchestra recordings, Mitchell said it has been nothing but an honor and a first-rate learning experience conducting at Severance Hall. He'd have gladly stayed here, in fact, had Colorado not come knocking.
"For being affiliated with an organization that places such a premium on excellence at every stage, I will never be anything but grateful," Mitchell said.
To read the complete article, please click here.