Preview: New Year's Eve with the Colorado Symphony

Music Director Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony in a program of waltzes, marches, and polkas on New Year’s Eve at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Music Director Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony in a program of waltzes, marches, and polkas on New Year’s Eve at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Gazette has included Brett Mitchell’s upcoming performance with the Colorado Symphony on its list of the biggest New Year’s Eve events in and around Denver:

If you’re searching for a place to ring in 2019 with friends (and friends you haven’t met yet), festivities abound in the Pikes Peak region and the Denver metro area…

A Night In Vienna by Colorado Symphony, conducted by Brett Mitchell, Boettcher Concert Hall… Program includes polkas, waltzes and marches from Nicolai, Strauss, Verdi, Waldteufel and Bernstein.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

New holiday recording with The Cleveland Orchestra & Chorus

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus in eight selections on their newest holiday album,  On Christmas Night .

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus in eight selections on their newest holiday album, On Christmas Night.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus has released its latest holiday album, On Christmas Night, featuring eight selections performed with The Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Brett Mitchell. Recorded in 2016 and 2017, Mr. Mitchell’s selections on the album include:

  • I Saw Three Ships (arr. Matthew Jackfert)

  • The Holly and the Ivy (arr. Paulus)

  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Calkin, arr. Randol Alan Bass)

  • Fanfare: Joy to the World (Randol Alan Bass)

  • Christmas Day (Holst)

  • “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone (featuring Children’s Chorus) (John Williams)

  • “Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas (featuring Children’s Chorus) (Lee Mendelson/Guaraldi)

  • Deck the Halls (arr. Randol Alan Bass)

On Christmas Night is available to donors contributing a new gift of $25 or more to The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus Fund. To order, please call 216-231-7372.

Colorado Symphony will perform 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Music Director Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony in John Williams’s score for  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back  in March 2019.

Music Director Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony in John Williams’s score for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in March 2019.

DENVER — Westword has published a preview of Brett Mitchell’s upcoming performances with the Colorado Symphony of John Williams’s iconic 1980 score for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars fans, take note! The Colorado Symphony is teaming up with Disney to bring Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to Denver.

Conducted by Brett Mitchell, the event will include a screening of the film and a live performance of John Williams's iconic score.

The performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 23 and 24 at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield.

To read the complete article, please click here.

To read the Colorado Symphony’s press release, please click here.

Colorado Symphony conductors come together for panel at Brett Mitchell Society breakfast

Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell joined with Assistant Conductor Bertie Baigent (L) and Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon (R) for a wide-ranging discussion on life, music, and more. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell joined with Assistant Conductor Bertie Baigent (L) and Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon (R) for a wide-ranging discussion on life, music, and more. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

From the Colorado Symphony Blog:

On December 9, 2018, members of the Brett Mitchell Society gathered at Denver’s historic Dazzle Jazz Club for an intimate discussion with Associate Conductor Christopher Dragon, Assistant Conductor Bertie Baigent, and of course, Music Director Brett Mitchell himself.

A wide-ranging conversation ensued covering topics from favorite books to musical idols, what pieces they would most like to conduct, what drew them to conducting, impactful advice they’ve received, and what separates the Colorado Symphony from other orchestras around the world.

“I noticed immediately during my audition that it felt very welcoming and I felt very much at home, there was a real sense of generosity and warmth from this orchestra,” said Baigent.

“This is my fourth season with the Colorado Symphony and leaving family and friends from Australia was difficult, so coming to an orchestra that is so accepting and supportive was incredible. It truly feels like a family here with the Colorado Symphony,” said Dragon.

That culture is fostered by Mitchell, who shared his favorite piece of advice with the assembled crowd.

"No whining, No complaining, No excuses."

When asked where that particular piece of advice came from, the Seattle native quipped, "Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll," providing some good-natured ribbing and one of many lighthearted moments to the proceedings.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Renée Fleming returns to the Colorado Symphony

DENVER — Soprano Renée Fleming will return to the Colorado Symphony in November 2019 for two performances led by Music Director Brett Mitchell. Ms. Fleming last performed with the orchestra on Mr. Mitchell’s inaugural concert as music director in September 2017.

From the Colorado Symphony’s press release:

Today the Colorado Symphony announces the Colorado premiere of The Brightness of Light by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, featuring internationally renowned soprano Renée Fleming in a special two-night performance conducted by Music Director Brett Mitchell at Boettcher Concert Hall on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. 

The letters of iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, the photographer and curator Alfred Stieglitz, are full of poetry, humor, passion, pain, and longing. Written over the many months and years they lived apart, these letters chronicle their initial flirtations—when Georgia was a young, aspiring artist—to Alfred’s death in 1946. Written in three parts, with orchestral interludes composed by Kevin Puts and accompanied by a film by Wendall Harrington, The Brightness of Light tells the story of a great artist who ultimately turns from a painful marriage to embrace her work and the desert land she loves…

“What a thrill for us to welcome one of the greatest singers of all time back to Boettcher,” said Mitchell. “I first had the pleasure of working together with Renée at a world premiere in Paris back in 2009 and again during my first concert as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in 2017. The Colorado Symphony is delighted to share the stage once more with one of the iconic artists of our time.”

For more information, please click here.

Colorado Symphony asks concertgoers to donate instruments

DENVER — The Denver Post has published an article about the Colorado Symphony’s partnership with Bringing Music to Life to benefit underfunded school music programs across Colorado.

Colorado Symphony musicians won’t be the only ones carrying their instruments into Boettcher Concert Hall. The orchestra is asking audience members to donate used instruments they no longer play to the nonprofit Bringing Music to Life 2019 Instrument Drive. Bringing Music to Life will be in the lobby at 10 concert dates in November, December and January to receive donated instruments… Donated instruments will be repaired and awarded to deserving music programs throughout Colorado before the start of the next school year.

The Symphony’s collaboration with Bringing Music to Life began early in the year when music director Brett Mitchell appeared in the organization’s promotional video. Then in August, Mitchell took part in Bringing Music to Life’s instrument presentation event, where teachers from more than 30 schools came to Denver to pick up 450 instruments that had been awarded to their schools. At that presentation, Mitchell discussed the importance of music to students and saluted the Colorado’s music teachers.

”All of us at the Colorado Symphony are so thrilled to partner with Bringing Music to Life to help you do this incredibly important work,” he told the teachers.

In October, Mitchell and his wife, Angela, performed at another Bringing Music to Life event. “Brett has been so generous with his time and talent,” Blatt noted. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

To read the complete article, please click here.

Preview: 'The week's five best Twin Cities classical concerts'

Brett Mitchell will lead the Minnesota Orchestra in works of Kevin Puts, Shostakovich, and Beethoven at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Nov. 15-17. (Photo by Courtney Perry)

Brett Mitchell will lead the Minnesota Orchestra in works of Kevin Puts, Shostakovich, and Beethoven at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Nov. 15-17. (Photo by Courtney Perry)

The Minnesota Orchestra will celebrate cellist Anthony Ross’s 30-year anniversary.

The Minnesota Orchestra will celebrate cellist Anthony Ross’s 30-year anniversary.

MINNEAPOLIS - Brett Mitchell’s upcoming concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra are the top pick on the Star Tribune’s list of “The week's five best Twin Cities classical concerts”:

It's been 30 years since principal cello Anthony Ross joined the Minnesota Orchestra. The group marks the occasion by adding Shostakovich's Second Cello Concerto to its repertoire. Conductor Brett Mitchell leads a program that also includes Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. [The program will open with Kevin Puts’s Inspiring Beethoven.]

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Review: 'The Dallas Symphony and its chorus excite audiences with Carl Orff's popular Carmina Burana'

Brett Mitchell leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Chorus, Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, and a roster of soloists at Meyerson Symphony Center. (Photo by Paul Feakes)

Brett Mitchell leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Chorus, Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, and a roster of soloists at Meyerson Symphony Center. (Photo by Paul Feakes)

DALLAS — TheaterJones has published a review of Brett Mitchell’s recent performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra:

Carl Orff’s scenic cantata [Carmina Burana] is a true crowd-pleaser…and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, in collaboration with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, proved last night to be up to the task.

For opening night of the production, the Meyerson Symphony Center was nearly full. Conductor Brett Mitchell offers them a solid interpretation, filled with forward energy and thoughtful sensitivity….

Kudos for the evening definitely go to the choruses. The DSO choir carries a heavy burden with this piece, but they deliver expertly balanced passages with full lines and near-perfect diction. Director Joshua Habermann has nicely prepared the large group for Mitchell’s expressive and nuanced interpretations….

As appetizers to the main event, the DSO also performed Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body and Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40. Together, the two pieces filled roughly 30 minutes with a unique mixture of sound and story-telling. Theofanidis, a Dallas native, starts his piece with a Gregorian-like chant inspired by poetry written around the same time as Carmina Burana. The piece goes smoothly through movements that are bright and pastoral to dark and mysterious. Elgar’s Op. 40 is adventurous and provincial, with a lovely accompaniment from Bradley Hunter Welch on organ that gives the piece a full and resounding finish.

These were great teasers to the main course, but what most in attendance came out to see was certainly the Orff, and understandably so. The DSO delivers this well-known favorite with artful precision. It’s difficult not to enjoy such an energetic cantata, especially when everyone around you is so thoroughly engaged. 

To read the complete review, please click here.

Brett Mitchell discusses upcoming Dallas Symphony concerts on Facebook Live

DALLAS — Brett Mitchell spoke with Classical 101.1 WRR’s Amy Bishop on Facebook Live from Meyerson Symphony Center this morning about his upcoming performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, featuring Dallas native Christopher Theofanidis’s Rainbow Body, Elgar’s Cockaigne, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Watch the conversation above, or click here to view it on Facebook.

Preview: Smetana, Grieg, and Dvořák with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

SURREY, B.C. — Peace Arch News has published a preview of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s “Surrey Nights” series, which includes a performance led by Brett Mitchell in February 2019:

“The Moldau & Grieg’s Piano Concerto” is the title of the VSO’s Feb. 7 concert at the Bell, with conductor Brett Mitchell and pianist Andrew von Oeyen. One of the most poetic and lyrical pianists of his generation, Andrew Von Oeyen tackles Grieg’s much-loved Piano Concerto in a concert that also features one of Dvorák’s greatest works [Symphony No. 8] and the famous melodies of “The Moldau” – all under the direction of conductor Brett Mitchell, making his VSO debut.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Video: 'Why Bernstein Still Matters: A Conversation With The Colorado Symphony's Brett Mitchell'

Brett Mitchell visits the Colorado Public Radio studios to discuss the life and music of Leonard Bernstein. (Photo by Nick Dobreff)

Brett Mitchell visits the Colorado Public Radio studios to discuss the life and music of Leonard Bernstein. (Photo by Nick Dobreff)

DENVER — In advance of Leonard Bernstein's centennial celebrations on Saturday, Brett Mitchell sat down with David Ginder in the Colorado Public Radio Performance Studio to explore some of the highlights of Bernstein's career, and why his music will endure.

"He gave us permission to be American and to love the music that we loved, and to not have to apologize for it. I think that's his great legacy," Mitchell said.

Watch the conversation in the video below, or read the article from Colorado Public Radio: "Why Bernstein Still Matters: A Conversation With The Colorado Symphony's Brett Mitchell."

Preview: Brett Mitchell conducts Mahler 5

Brett Mitchell will close the Strings Music Festival's 2018 season with a performance of Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony at the Strings Pavilion in Steamboat Springs, CO.

Brett Mitchell will close the Strings Music Festival's 2018 season with a performance of Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony at the Strings Pavilion in Steamboat Springs, CO.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO — Steamboat Pilot & Today has published a brief preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming performance of Mahler's Fifth Symphony with the Strings Music Festival:

Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Sachs, the classical season will reach its finale this weekend with the last classical show of the 2018 season.

For the orchestra's finale, Colorado Symphony Music Director Brett Mitchell is on the podium to conduct a unique arrangement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 by the Natalia Ensemble, one of Europe's leading chamber ensembles.

Whether a classical music fan or new to classical music, the show is bound to impress.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Brett Mitchell appears with Yo-Yo Ma at Red Rocks

Brett Mitchell, Isaac Slade (lead singer of The Fray), Yo-Yo Ma, and El Sistema Colorado pose for a group photo after a rehearsal at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

Brett Mitchell, Isaac Slade (lead singer of The Fray), Yo-Yo Ma, and El Sistema Colorado pose for a group photo after a rehearsal at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

MORRISON, CO — After Yo-Yo Ma's performance of Bach's Cello Suites at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Wednesday, August 1, Brett Mitchell, Isaac Slade (lead singer of The Fray) and the young musicians of El Sistema Colorado joined Mr. Ma onstage for a surprise encore of Bach's Air on a G String.

From Colorado Public Radio:

"And then the encore. In my life outside of radio, I lead the board of a small nonprofit called El Sistema Colorado that provides access to music for kids in underserved communities. Three weeks ago Yo-Yo Ma's office called to invite them to play onstage with him. They played with poise and heart! Brett Mitchell, Colorado Symphony Music Director conducted Bach's Air on a G String. A night to remember indeed."

To read more, please click here

Brett Mitchell greets Yo-Yo Ma at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

Brett Mitchell greets Yo-Yo Ma at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

Brett Mitchell leads Yo-Yo Ma and El Sistema Colorado in a rehearsal of Bach's  Air on a G String  at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

Brett Mitchell leads Yo-Yo Ma and El Sistema Colorado in a rehearsal of Bach's Air on a G String at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Amanda Tipton)

Brett Mitchell leads Yo-Yo Ma and El Sistema Colorado in of Bach's  Air on a G String  at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Jose Mena)

Brett Mitchell leads Yo-Yo Ma and El Sistema Colorado in of Bach's Air on a G String at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. (Photo by Jose Mena)

Preview: Colorado Symphony reboots 'Beethoven and Brews'

DENVER — Westword has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming performance with the Colorado Symphony on Wednesday, October 10, at the Blue Moon brewery in Denver:

The Colorado Symphony has been taking classical music out of the concert halls for years, including at its 'Classically Cannabis' pot-friendly concert back in 2014, its Red Rocks performances and at 'Remix: Young Professionals of the Colorado Symphony' events.

Now, conductor Brett Mitchell, who was brought in to keep the orchestra's slate of programming relevant to up-and-coming generations, is rebooting its beer-and-classical pairings with Beethoven and Brews.

On October 10, the symphony will perform two overtures by Ludwig van Beethoven, cellist Judith McIntyre will solo on Edward Elgar’s "Sospiri," and the evening will conclude with works by Manuel de Falla and Zoltán Kodály.

This will be the fourteenth iteration in the series, which began back in 2015.

“The orchestra and I are so excited to bring Beethoven and Brews back to Blue Moon for another night of incredible music and beer," says music director Brett Mitchell in a statement. “One of the coolest things about playing at Blue Moon is that the atmosphere is really intimate, which helps us break down the wall between us and our audience. We can’t wait to share this fantastic music (and beer) with everyone on October 10!”

To celebrate the performance, Blue Moon will offer a Beethoven-themed beer, and ticket holders will be given two pints from the brewery's tap list to enjoy, along with hors d'oeuvres.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Podcast: 'Please Don't Call Me Maestro'

Photo by Jeff Nelson

Photo by Jeff Nelson

DENVER — Brett Mitchell is the featured guest on the most recent episode of Podium Time: The Podcast for Conductors and Students:

Today we get into the weeds on assistant conductor auditions and more. Brett Mitchell is starting his second season as the Music Director of the Colorado Symphony, and he has had a whirlwind of activity since conducting CSO for the first time less than two years ago. We get into how he accidentally auditioned, the details of their recent assistant search, and the organic changes that come with a new leader.

This week we discuss:

  • First encounters conducting the Colorado Symphony

  • Details of the assistant conductor search

  • The biggest mistake you can make when applying for anything

  • Changes with a new Music Director

Listen via the audio player above, or hear the episode on Podium Time's website.