Brett Mitchell is the featured guest on the most recent episode of The Legacy of John Williams, a podcast that “celebrates and promotes the cultural and aesthetic importance” of the music of the great American composer:
One of the missions of The Legacy of John Williams is to spotlight how much the music of the Maestro inspired legions of people to become talented musicians. As it’s often already told, a lot of youngsters fell in love with John Williams’ music after hearing it in films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jurassic Park and, more recently, the Harry Potter series. But, after being captivated by the incredible sound of the symphony orchestra accompanying those magical movies, many of those youngsters decided also to learn to play an instrument and begin serious study to become professional musicians.
Talented American conductor Brett Mitchell is certainly one of them, and his successful career is proof of how much influential John Williams has been (and continues to be) in building a new generation of classical musicians, conductors and composers….
Born in 1979 in Seattle…he fell in love with the music of John Williams already as a kid, while watching films such as Star Wars, E.T. and Superman. He pertains to that generation of people who were very young when the popularity of the composer exploded world-wide, influencing young minds: “It’s really impossible to overestimate how influential John Williams is on my career”, says Brett at the beginning of our conversation. This genuine love led him to become not only a successful conductor, but also an enthusiastic ambassador of a wide-eyed attitude toward Williams’ music, and film music repertoire in general. Over the course of his career, he conducted a lot of John Williams’ music (both film and concert works, including rare pieces like Celebrate Discovery, Soundings!, and Air and Simple Gifts), and also live-to-picture concerts of John Williams’ classics like Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jaws, and Jurassic Park.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Brett talks about how much the music of John Williams played a crucial role in his artistic and personal life. We also talk about the challenges of conducting live-to-picture concerts, the differences between film and concert works, the importance of John Williams in the history of American music, and Brett’s attitude when preparing and programming a concert program.
Listen via the audio player above, or hear the episode on The Legacy of John Williams’s website.