The 2016-17 season marked Brett Mitchell’s fourth and final year as a member of The Cleveland Orchestra’s conducting staff. In this role, he leads the Orchestra in several dozen concerts each season at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Festival, and on tour. He also served as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra through to May 2017. In June 2015, he led the Youth Orchestra in the ensemble’s second international tour, to China.
With the 2017-18 season, Mr. Mitchell assumed office as the newly-appointed music director of the Colorado Symphony in Denver. In the current season, he holds the title music director designate. He also continues an active career as a guest conductor, leading performances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Recent and upcoming guest engagements include performances with the orchestras of Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Oregon, Saint Paul, and Washington D.C., and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, among others.
Mr. Mitchell served as music director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, 2010-15. He has previously been assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony (2007-11), where he led over 100 performances with the ensemble and concurrently held a League of American Orchestras American Conducting Fellowship. He was also an assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France (2006-09) and served as director of orchestras at Northern Illinois University (2005-07). He was associate conductor of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (2002-06), where he led many subscription programs, six world premieres, and several recording projects. Mr. Mitchell has also served as music director of nearly a dozen opera productions, principally as music director at the Moores Opera Center in Houston (2010-13), leading eight productions.
A native of Seattle, Brett Mitchell holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was also music director of the University Orchestra. He earned a bachelor of music degree in composition from Western Washington University, which selected him as its Young Alumnus of the Year in 2014. Mr. Mitchell also participated in the National Conducting Institute in Washington D.C., studied with Kurt Masur as a recipient of the inaugural American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation Scholarship, and with Lorin Maazel.
Updated: October 2016