Mason Bates on Brett Mitchell

Brett Mitchell and composer Mason Bates backstage at Boettcher Concert Hall after Mitchell’s inaugural subscription performances as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony.

Brett Mitchell and composer Mason Bates backstage at Boettcher Concert Hall after Mitchell’s inaugural subscription performances as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony.

Composer Mason Bates has written a reflection on his recent experience collaborating with Brett Mitchell on his opening concerts as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony:

Maestro Brett Mitchell opened the Colorado Symphony’s subscription series with characteristic panache, pairing Beethoven with my The B-Sides and a fanfare by Kevin Puts. Launching his music directorship with a mix of new and old shows demonstrates the vivid programming of this dynamo. Mitchell rose to prominence at the Cleveland Orchestra, where he jumped in for last-minute appearances to much acclaim, and he always has his ear to the ground, listening for compelling American voices. But I’d never seen him conduct until last month.

Mitchell knows how to iron-out the myriad subtleties of an intricate piece like The B-Sides while staying focused on the larger arc. In the two acoustic movements “Aerosol Melody Hanalei” and “Temescal Noir,” for example, he stayed focused on the long-lined melodies while bringing out lots of nuances in the constantly-shifting metrical bed. In the electro-acoustic “Broom of the System,” I’ve come to expect that orchestras will need a few run-throughs before acclimating to the mercurial rhythms of the “future clock.” But Colorado played it near perfectly on its first run-through. It’s a fine orchestra with a mature and confident young maestro at its helm, and the crowd and vibe in the hall is hip.

To read the complete post, please click here.