Video: "Brett Mitchell reflects on his time in Cleveland"

Brett Mitchell speaks with WCLV Classical 104.9's Bill O'Connell on this week's episode of WVIZ/PBS's Applause.

Brett Mitchell speaks with WCLV Classical 104.9's Bill O'Connell on this week's episode of WVIZ/PBS's Applause.

This week's episode of Applause, a local arts magazine produced by WVIZ/PBS in Cleveland, features a story about Brett Mitchell's four seasons with The Cleveland Orchestra and his upcoming tenure with the Colorado Symphony, and includes a sit-down interview with Mr. Mitchell and WCLV Classical 104.9's Bill O'Connell. To watch this video, please click here.

Preview: Brett Mitchell to lead two world premieres with members of The Cleveland Orchestra

Brett Mitchell will lead members of The Cleveland Orchestra in two world premieres this weekend at Knight Concert Hall in Miami.

Brett Mitchell will lead members of The Cleveland Orchestra in two world premieres this weekend at Knight Concert Hall in Miami.

El Nuevo Herald (Miami) has published a preview of this weekend's Cleveland Orchestra concerts in Miami, including two world premieres by composers from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, presented by members of The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Associate Conductor Brett Mitchell. To read the complete preview (in Spanish), please click here.

Review: "For Young Listeners, a Poignant, Relevant Reminder of History"

Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in six performances at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at Temple-Tifereth in Cleveland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in six performances at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at Temple-Tifereth in Cleveland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Seen and Heard International has published a review of Brett Mitchell's recent concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra:

Are we doomed to repeat our history?

Not if we do the work necessary to wake people up with the arts, humanity’s mirror. In light of fractious political movements worldwide, this Cleveland Orchestra presentation of “Violins of Hope” can be seen as not merely an educational program, but a critically important call for awareness....

The music was led with poise by Brett Mitchell, the Cleveland Orchestra’s outstanding associate conductor. Mitchell started with Gerald Finzi’s gravely beautiful Prelude for string orchestra, one of the few orchestral works by the always expressive but never prolific English composer, born of a Jewish family, though himself an agnostic....

The “Allegro molto” from Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony (an arrangement of his harrowing String Quartet No. 8) brought to life the terror that came with the rise of the Nazis and their attendant monstrosities. Mitchell’s direction made the explosive movement part of the program’s whole—intense but less violent than it might be in a complete performance, and showing a shrewd sense of musical storytelling....

The actors then told the story of violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who formed the Palestine Symphony—today the Israel Philharmonic. Their first concert was in 1936, led by Arturo Toscanini, who opened with Rossini’s overture to La scala di seta. Mitchell made no attempt to imitate Toscanini’s fierce manner, again maintaining the program’s context: joyous in relief, but guarded.

The orchestra performed this important program six times to student audiences in the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, reaching three thousand elementary and middle school students, who had been prepared with in-class study guides. The seriousness and attentiveness of these young thinkers are reasons to hope that this time, history will not be allowed to repeat itself.

To read the complete review, please click here.

"Violins of Hope" concert teaches about the Holocaust

Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in "Violins of Hope," a series of education concerts presented at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell led The Cleveland Orchestra in "Violins of Hope," a series of education concerts presented at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Cleveland Jewish News has published an article about Brett Mitchell's concerts this week with The Cleveland Orchestra:

More than 3,000 local students and community members listened to music, learned about the Holocaust and were taught how music can invoke hope even in the most challenging times during The Cleveland Orchestra’s “Violins of Hope” concert’s encore presentations March 8 to 10 at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland.

The hour-long show consisted of music played by the orchestra, interspersed with eight actors telling the audience about what Jews endured in the Holocaust and how music helped them survive.

The performance was conducted by The Cleveland Orchestra’s associate conductor Brett Mitchell and featured first associate concertmaster Peter Otto and assistant principal cellist Charles Bernard.

“They didn’t really realize how successful it was going to be, so immediately when we started it last time everybody I think had this collective feeling that there was something very special and so it would be a shame to just do it one time,” Otto told the Cleveland Jewish News. “I think even though it’s not particularly gruesome in its descriptions of what happened, it still gets the major points across and I think even for young kids the message is very uplifting because it’s ultimately about hope.”

The Cleveland Orchestra and the Case Western Reserve University / Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts Program in Acting put on the program. It included “Simchas Torah” (“Rejoicing”) from “Baal Shem,” by Ernest Bloch; “Kol Nidrei,” Opus 47 by Max Bruch; Overture on Hebrew Themes, Opus 34 by Sergei Prokofiev; and John Williams’s music from the film “Schindler's List.” The actors played Jewish, European characters, dressed in 1930s and 40s attire, who between songs described the role of music in Jewish life before, after and during the Holocaust.

“Music was central to Jewish life,” said one of the eight characters, who described when the Nazi’s came to power and began forcing restrictions on Jews.

“The instruments are the voices of the victims,” a character said, adding that some Jews survived the concentration camps because they were given jobs playing music. “As long as they wanted music, they couldn’t put us in the gas chamber.”

The first presentation of the program in December 2015 was attended by more than 10,000 students. For that production, The Cleveland Orchestra played instruments preserved from the Holocaust, which were collected by Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein. Although for the 2017 program those instruments were not available, Otto said that the program retains the always-relevant message.

“I think it’s a great educational tool for children and I think ultimately a lot of them don’t know anything about it,” said Otto, who in the original show played a violin saved from Auschwitz. “And in an environment with anti-Semitism on the rise again, I think it’s never too early to start educating people.”

To read the complete article, please click here.

Feature: "From Beethoven to Prince: New Colorado Symphony Director Hooked on Classics"

Conductor Brett Mitchell is the new Colorado Symphony music director. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

Conductor Brett Mitchell is the new Colorado Symphony music director. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

KUNC Public Radio has published a feature about Brett Mitchell's upcoming tenure as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony:

At 37, Brett Mitchell is one of the youngest music directors in the Colorado Symphony’s history. He’s tied with Marin Alsop, who led the symphony from 1993 to 2005. But Mitchell is walking into a better situation than Alsop: the symphony’s first budget surplus in its 28 years.

So there’s a little pressure to make his upcoming debut season stand out.

Mitchell’s response: Challenge accepted.

“I think we’re in the business of taking risks,” said Mitchell, who is currently wrapping up contracts as the associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

That’s why for the Colorado Symphony’s 2017-2018 season Mitchell’s youth is perhaps showing.... For his season debut in September, he’s pairing Beethoven’s classic Symphony No. 5 with works by two living composers, including composer-by-day/electronica-artist-by-night Mason Bates.

“Part of the way that we keep audiences and donors and sponsors engaged is by showing them that we’re not becoming ossified,” he said. “We’re not set in our ways. We are taking risks.”

Interview Highlights With Brett Mitchell

On His Non-traditional Musical Inspirations

“I started playing piano when I was a kid but I wasn’t playing Mozart, I was playing Billy Joel and Barry Manilow and Elton John and Simon & Garfunkel and Beatles and all of that. Because what I grew up listening to -- at least up until high school -- was the pop music that my parents listened to (…) So I tend to be, I think more than your average conductor let’s say, I tend to be a little more understanding of people for whom going to an orchestral concert is a foreign experience. It can feel very daunting. It can feel very intimidating.”

On The Next Big Thing For Symphonies

“I think you’re going to start seeing more kind of mixed media performances like (film and video game soundtracks) without so much emphasis on: come to the concert hall, sit down, conductor comes out, bows, turns around, conducts the orchestra, turns back around, bows, leaves, everybody gets up and leaves the theater. I think it’s going to become a much more interactive experience, and I for one look forward to that.”

To read the complete feature and listen to Mr. Mitchell's interview, please click here.

Review: "Cleveland Orchestra: Fridays@7 with William Preucil & Brett Mitchell"

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra in performance at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra in performance at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

ClevelandClassical has published a review of Brett Mitchell's recent subscription program with The Cleveland Orchestra, presented on Friday, March 3:

For his next-to-last [subscription] appearance with The Cleveland Orchestra before taking up his new duties with the Colorado Symphony, associate conductor Brett Mitchell presided over a program of American music on Friday evening at Severance Hall. Two “Third” works were on the program: Aaron Copland’s stirring Third Symphony, and Augusta Read Thomas’s elusive Third Violin Concerto with concertmaster William Preucil as soloist....

Thomas has a fine ear for color and impressive skill in orchestration. Preucil, Mitchell, and the Orchestra put this eminently listenable piece across with all the nuanced care it deserves.

Mitchell let the first movement [of Copland's Third Symphony] unfold with a gentle sense of purpose and spaciousness. He took a laid-back approach to the second-movement scherzo, and...sculpted an understated lament in the third.

To read the complete review, please click here.

Review: "Cleveland Orchestra meets with success on refreshing all-American program"

On his second-to-last scheduled subscription appearance before becoming music director of the Colorado Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell (seen here in March 2014) demonstrates once more the strength of his commitment to American music with a program of works by Bernstein, Copland, and Augusta Read Thomas. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

On his second-to-last scheduled subscription appearance before becoming music director of the Colorado Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell (seen here in March 2014) demonstrates once more the strength of his commitment to American music with a program of works by Bernstein, Copland, and Augusta Read Thomas. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of Brett Mitchell's subscription weekend with The Cleveland Orchestra:

Don't look now, but the Cleveland Orchestra just played an all-American program, on a subscription week nowhere near Independence Day.

Actually, scratch that. Do look now, and listen closely. This is one weekend at Severance Hall you don't want to miss.

On his second-to-last scheduled subscription appearance before becoming music director of the Colorado Symphony, associate conductor Brett Mitchell demonstrates once more the strength of his commitment to American music with an impassioned and absorbing evening of works by Bernstein, Copland, and Augusta Read Thomas.

The brilliance of the performances notwithstanding, the program is refreshing for its variety and deviance from the mostly European norm. What's more, within that program lies something even rarer than the program itself: an American local premiere.

Anyone daunted by the prospect of an American trio surely felt at ease after the first offering, Bernstein's Symphonic Suite from "On the Waterfront."

Last heard here in 2006, the vibrant, lush film score made a happy reappearance Thursday in a reading defined by forceful lyricism and a string of nuanced solos. The contrast between action and romance could not have been greater as the strings fueled the former and artists playing horn, saxophone, flute, harp, and percussion made seductive work of the latter. There's a reason, it seems, that Mitchell emerged during his tenure as the orchestra's go-to guy for film music.

Just as easy on the ears was Copland's Symphony No. 3. Copland himself keeps things moving briskly with abundant, memorable melodies - notably the famous "Fanfare" - and a seemingly boundless sense of textural creativity. Still, it was Mitchell and the orchestra who carried it home with a sweeping and regal performance.

Here was quintessential Copland. Through Mitchell and the orchestra, the composer spoke his unique harmonic language and conjured everything from dramatic vistas to serene, intimate conversations. Where Copland demands muscle, the artists supplied it in spades, and to the work's many reflective passages, the players brought impeccable articulation and elegance.

Copland also turns playful in Symphony No. 3, and in those instances, too, the orchestra responded aptly, with bubbly animation and brash energy. But of course it was the finale, steeped in the stirring "Fanfare for the Common Man," that clinched the victory. The theme itself saw a majestic reading by the brass, while Mitchell saw to it that the music surrounding it developed organically and retained all its vitality.

To read the complete review, please click here.

Preview: "New music director Brett Mitchell fronts a jam-packed season"

Brett Mitchell begins his tenure as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony on July 1, 2017. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

Brett Mitchell begins his tenure as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony on July 1, 2017. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

The Denver Post has published a preview of the Colorado Symphony's 2017-18 concert schedule, which marks Brett Mitchell's first as Music Director:

First, the Colorado Symphony showed it’s ready to draw in younger audiences by bringing in a music director under 40; now, it’s taking on “La La Land” and a little “Purple Rain” as part of a stellar 2017-18 season.

New Colorado Symphony music director Brett Mitchell is heading up a dazzling lineup in the coming season, which will include appearances by world-class musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Renée Fleming.

“With Brett coming onboard, this is a huge year that deserves huge names,” Anthony Pierce, Colorado Symphony chief artistic officer, said in a press release. Mitchell officially takes the reins on July 1.

The orchestra will perform with soprano Fleming on Sept. 9, and with cellist Ma on Dec. 10.

“Of course, we’re thrilled to welcome such special guests as Yo-Yo Ma, and Renée Fleming,” said Mitchell. “But I’m every bit as excited to showcase my incredible colleagues who make up the Colorado Symphony as we share the stage together all season long.”

The Classics Opening Weekend is Sept. 15-17, with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and works by composers Kevin Puts and symphonic-electronics artist Mason Bates.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Preview: "Colorado Symphony reveals 2017-18 season schedule"

The Colorado Symphony performs at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. (Photo by Paul Brokering)

The Colorado Symphony performs at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. (Photo by Paul Brokering)

Colorado Public Radio has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's inaugural season as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony:

Some big names--including soprano Renée Fleming and cellist Yo-Yo Ma--are set to perform at Boettcher Concert Hall. And conductor Brett Mitchell will assume full-time duties as the orchestra’s new music director.

A few highlights:

  • Sept. 9: Soprano Renée Fleming performs with the symphony. The symphony is billing it as a celebration of Mitchell’s official start as music director.
  • Sept. 15-17: The season’s official opening weekend features a program with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and music by two living composers: Kevin Puts’ “Millennium Canons” and Mason Bates’ “The B-Sides: Five Pieces for Orchestra.”
  • Dec. 10: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs with the orchestra.
  • May 25-27: The season closes with a celebration of the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, as Mitchell conducts the “Candide” Overture and “Serenade (After Plato’s ‘Symposium’).” The program also includes Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan.”

View the full season brochure.

Hear David Rutherford’s in-depth interview with Mitchell.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Preview: "The Cleveland Orchestra Goes All-American This Week at Severance Hall"

Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in a subscription program of three American works this weekend at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in a subscription program of three American works this weekend at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Cool Cleveland has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming subscription program with The Cleveland Orchestra:

The Cleveland Orchestra’s “All American” program at Severance Hall features music by two of this country’s most beloved composers: Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from his original film score for the 1954 film On the Waterfront is representative of how he juggled his classical background and popular music forms throughout his career. And in his Symphony No. 3, written between 1944 and 1946, Copland injects American themes including his own Fanfare for the Common Man, composed in 1942.

The concerts will also feature contemporary composer Augusta Read Thomas’ 2008 Juggler in Paradise: Violin Concerto No. 3, with Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil as the soloist. The orchestra’s associate conductor Brett Mitchell will be on the podium. Friday evening’s Fridays @ 7 concert will feature only the Thomas and Copland pieces.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Preview: "Five Classical Music Events to Hit This Week"

Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in three subscription performances featuring music of Leonard Bernstein, Augusta Read Thomas, and Aaron Copland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in three subscription performances featuring music of Leonard Bernstein, Augusta Read Thomas, and Aaron Copland. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell's upcoming subscription weekend with The Cleveland Orchestra has been featured in Cleveland Scene's "Five Classical Music Events to Hit This Week":

Music by American composers Leonard Bernstein, Augusta Read Thomas, and Aaron Copland will be featured on this week’s Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Severance Hall. Concertmaster William Preucil will take the solo role in Thomas’s Violin Concerto No. 3 (”Juggler in Paradise”), and associate conductor Brett Mitchell will lead the Orchestra in Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from “On the Waterfront” (adapted from the Marlon Brando film), and Copland’s Symphony No. 3 (where the brass suddenly break out in an episode that later became the Fanfare for the Common Man). Performances run from March 2-4 (Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 8:00 pm). The Friday performance is part of the Orchestra’s Fridays@7 series (no Bernstein, but food, drink, and entertainment before and after).

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Preview: Colorado Symphony announces summer lineup

Brett Mitchell will conduct the Colorado Symphony in a sneak preview of the 2017-18 concert season—his first as its Music Director—on Saturday, July 22. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Brett Mitchell will conduct the Colorado Symphony in a sneak preview of the 2017-18 concert season—his first as its Music Director—on Saturday, July 22. (Photo by Brandon Marshall)

Westword (Denver) has published an article about the Colorado Symphony's 2017 summer lineup, including "a sampling of the upcoming season of works on July 22, conducted by Colorado Symphony Music Director Designate Brett Mitchell." To read this article, please click here.

Feature: "Brett Mitchell set to leave Cleveland Orchestra for Denver"

Brett Mitchell is the subject of a feature on WCPN's The Sound of Applause. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

Brett Mitchell is the subject of a feature on WCPN's The Sound of Applause. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

NPR's Cleveland affiliate, 90.3 WCPN, has published a feature about Brett Mitchell as he prepares to conclude his tenure as Associate Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and begin as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony:

Brett Mitchell has spent four seasons with the Cleveland Orchestra, initially as assistant and then associate conductor. He also is music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO).  The Seattle native has led dozens of orchestra performances in Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center, on tour, concerts in the community, film music programs and the popular holiday concert series.  But arguably his most important role during this time has been as mentor to student musicians.

"Ninety-five percent of cities in this country would kill to have a professional orchestra that plays as well as COYO.  They blow me away every single weekend.  It's very inspiring to me as now somebody who can be a mentor to them," Mitchell said.

COYO manager Lauren Generette says Mitchell is an inspiration to the young musicians.

"They often jot down quotes during rehearsal of things they want to remember.  He does make it fun and memorable for them at the same time I think," Generette said.

Joan Katz Napoli is the director of education and community programs for the Cleveland Orchestra.  She says: "He has quite the unique ability to communicate with audiences of all kinds and making them feel a part of the concert experience.  He really conveys his passion for the music and at the same time he sprinkles his remarks with a terrific sense of humor."

In 2014 Mitchell was scheduled to lead a weekend COYO concert when he got a call from the orchestra alerting him that he had to step in for music director Franz Welser-Most to lead a complicated piece, Benjamin Britten's "Spring Symphony."

"[It's] an enormous work for chorus and children's chorus and orchestra and three vocal soloists," Mitchell said. "There's, I'm not kidding, a cow horn that's called for in the piece.  Thank goodness I studied it as hard as I did because there was no opportunity to rehearse.  It was a period of 72 hours that I will not forget in my career."

Challenges like these have led Mitchell to cherish his time leading the Cleveland Orchestra as associate conductor.

"The way I'm able to listen now, the finesse with which I'm able to hear things that I simply would not have heard had I not been around this orchestra the last four years.  It impacts my work not only with the Cleveland Orchestra but with COYO and every orchestra I guest conduct.  It has unquestionably made me a better musician," Mitchell said.

So when Colorado Symphony CEO Jerome H. Kern was looking for a conductor to become music director of that orchestra in Denver, Cleveland Orchestra musician Michael Sachs pointed him to Mitchell.

"Our principal trumpet called Cleveland's principal trumpet and said, 'we're looking at this other person.'  The fella said, 'you don't want that other person, you want Brett Mitchell.'  It was love at first sight.  The musicians loved him, the audience loved him," Kern said.

Mitchell met the Colorado Symphony's criteria, and then some.

"The way we measure performance of guest conductors who come through is on a scale of one through 10.  Brett scored in excess of nine.  In the history of our doing this we have never had anyone score that high," Kern said.

As Mitchell prepares for his final slate of concerts in Northeast Ohio before joining the Colorado Symphony in the fall, COYO violist Sam Rosenthal expresses a sentiment that both orchestra musicians and audiences here in Cleveland share.

"It's been great to work with him and we're all really going to miss him," Rosenthal said.

Mitchell steps into the role as number one with the Colorado Symphony September 9, when he begins his new job as music director in Denver.

This weekend he leads the Cleveland Orchestra in a series of concerts of Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland compositions at Severance Hall.  Brett Mitchell's final concert as the Cleveland Orchestra's associate conductor takes place over Labor Day weekend when he leads the orchestra in John Williams' score from the film "E.T."

To read and listen to the complete feature, please click here.

Preview: Adams, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Stewart Copeland with the Colorado Symphony

Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony on Saturday, February 25. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

Brett Mitchell will lead the Colorado Symphony on Saturday, February 25. (Photo by Peter Lockley)

Westword (Denver) has published a preview of Music Director Designate Brett Mitchell's performance this weekend with the Colorado Symphony, featuring works of Adams, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Stewart Copeland, who will join the orchestra to perform his concerto for trap set and orchestra, Tyrant's Crush:

“This is definitely something that’s a little more outside the box, which is something that we do at the Colorado Symphony better than just about anybody in the business," [Mitchell] adds. "This is such an open-minded orchestra. To have the opportunity to play a piece of Stewart’s with Stewart — I mean, the whole experience, even before you crack open the score, already promises all this fun. And then you actually get into the music, and you’re like, ‘Oh, awesome, the music is actually really fun, too.’” ...

“That is the best program that I’ve ever played, by the way,” Copeland says. “That is the best programming. That is fantastic programming.”

Mitchell, who programmed the concert and will conduct on Saturday, says that the influence of those three composers is strong. “I think that on the first half, you’ll hear John Adams’s Chairman Dances and you’ll hear the Stravinsky Pulcinella,” Mitchell says. “And I think that once you’ve heard those two pieces, you’ll come back and you’ll listen to Stewart’s concerto with some very new ears, and you’ll realize, ‘Oh, my God, these worlds aren’t as far apart as I thought they were.’”

Mitchell thinks there will be a lot of fans of the Police in the audience who will open up for the first time to composers like Adams, Stravinsky and Ravel after thinking that classical composers could never speak on the same level as somebody like Copeland.

“And I also think,” Mitchell adds, “that there are going to be a good number of people who are going to come to the concert because of the Adams and Stravinsky and because of the Ravel and are going to hear Stewart’s piece and say, ‘Oh, isn’t that interesting. I thought this guy was in the pop world and just did pop stuff.’ But this is legit, awesome, contemporary, badass classical music. And so I think that it’s going to open ears on both sides — and that’s really what we’re all about at the Colorado Symphony.”

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Review: "Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Chorus model best of youthful music-making"

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and music director Brett Mitchell, seen here in November 2016, reconvened Sunday for a program of Debussy, Poulenc, and Bates at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and music director Brett Mitchell, seen here in November 2016, reconvened Sunday for a program of Debussy, Poulenc, and Bates at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's second subscription concert of the 2016-17 season, led by music director Brett Mitchell:

The tonal superiority of the youthful voice over its adult counterpart was demonstrated once again at Sunday night's Severance Hall concert by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

On the program: works by Debussy and Poulenc. There was also an orchestra-alone curtain raiser by American composer Mason Bates.

The first inkling of vocal freshness came at that felicitous moment in the third of Debussy's Nocturnes for orchestra, "Sirens," when unaccompanied women's voices suddenly blossom out of the sonorous musical web that Debussy weaves in the opening bars.

COYO music director Brett Mitchell had the happy notion to place the singers not on risers behind the orchestra but right in the midst of the players, which made for a rich blend of vocal and instrumental textures. Those who know Debussy's magical score could not have been but impressed by this magical effect, and the lightness and luster of these young voices, so ably rehearsed by COYC director Lisa Wong, was unforgettable.

The other movements of Debussy's triptych, "Clouds" and "Festivals," were given excellent performances by the COYO players, with muted coloristic effects to the fore in the former, and a flashes of light and movement in the latter. The distant trumpet fanfares in "Festivals" were especially nice....

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus returned on the second half of the program, taking their traditional place on the risers for Poulenc's Gloria, a late masterwork from 1959 that achieves a surprisingly satisfying alliance of the composer's sacred and profane duality....

Again, the youthful purity of the chorus was a central element in the performance's success. That, combined with the young singers' mature understanding of the music, made a strong case for this strange work. The orchestra, under Mitchell's baton, was brilliant, especially in the last section, when Poulenc calls for them to underscore the chorus with a blaze of sharply dissonant color.

To read the complete review, please click here.

Preview: "Cleveland Orchestra to have encore presentation of Violins of Hope"

Cleveland Jewish News has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra:

The Cleveland Orchestra will have a special performance for the general public of the Violins of Hope education concert at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Preforming Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel’s Case Western Location at noon March 8.

The instruments at the Violins of Hope concert survived the Holocaust and were collected and restored by Amnon Weinstein; and these concerts intend to inform, educate, and inspire listeners. Directed by Donald Carrier and conducted by Brett Mitchell, this performance is accompanying other encore presentations for students.

The performances will feature violinist Peter Otto, the orchestra's first associate concertmaster, and the Charles Bernard, the assistant principal cellist.

Afterward, the concert will be available via ideastream.org for educators.

To read the complete preview, please click here.

Preview: "Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra & Chorus Perform at Severance Hall"

Brett Mitchell conducts the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in performance at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Brett Mitchell conducts the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in performance at Severance Hall. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

CoolCleveland has published a brief preview of the second subscription concert of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's 2016-17 season on Sunday, February 19:

This week, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will perform at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus. Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor/COYO music director Brett Mitchell will lead the young musicians in a program that includes Sea-Blue Circuitry, a new piece by American composer Mason Bates, Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes and Francis Poulenc’s Gloria. Lisa Wong directs the chorus, and soprano Marian Vogel solos.

To read the complete article, please click here.