Review: "Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra wraps season with mature, exciting performances"

Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell led the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Sunday in its season finale, an exciting mix of works by Rachmaninoff, Korngold, and Adam Schoenberg. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell led the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Sunday in its season finale, an exciting mix of works by Rachmaninoff, Korngold, and Adam Schoenberg. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's season finale under the baton of music director Brett Mitchell.

Sunday afternoon at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra concluded its historic 30th anniversary season in fine style, with a colorful recent work by Adam Schoenberg, a commanding performance of Korngold's Violin Concerto with Jieming Tang the soloist, and a vivid reading of Rachmaninoff's last work, the Symphonic Dances.

COYO music director and conductor Brett Mitchell clearly prepared his young charges thoroughly in these three scores, all of which trafficked in a wide range of orchestral color and, very often, exciting drama...

COYO has always excelled in music written in our own time. In "Finding Rothko," Schoenberg's first commission from 2006, they reveled in the work's lush, cinematic textures, and brought force to its occasional violent eruptions of sound. Mitchell guided the music with a firm hand toward its inevitable glowing conclusion...

Before the second half of the program, Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Möst spoke from the stage, praising the high-school aged players of COYO as better than some professional orchestras. If there was any question about this, the final work on the concert settled that matter handily.

Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances are, like many masterpieces, easy to appreciate to but difficult to execute, full of tricky rhythms and an ever-shifting palette of orchestral color. The young players attacked the score with great energy, capturing not only its savage dance rhythms but also its many languid, nostalgic passages with satisfying skill.

To read the complete review, please click here.