Brett Mitchell appointed
Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra
and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
RELEAESE DATE: February 15, 2013
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra announced today the appointment of Brett Mitchell as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. The appointment is for a two-year term. Appointed by Franz Welser-Möst, Mr. Mitchell joins the Orchestra’s conducting staff in September, at the beginning of the 2013-14 season at Severance Hall.
As Assistant Conductor, Brett Mitchell will serve as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Festival subscription concerts, and provide assistance to Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. As Assistant Conductor, he will hold the Elizabeth Ring and William Gwinn Mather Chair. Mr. Mitchell succeeds current Assistant Conductor James Feddeck, who completes the final year of his four-year term at the end of the 2012-13 season.
As Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Brett Mitchell will participate in artistic planning, select personnel for the ensemble, and conduct rehearsals and performances of the Youth Orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, currently in its 27th season, is a full, 100-member symphony orchestra of middle- and high-school-aged musicians from northern and central Ohio and western Pennsylvania who are coached by musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra. Founded in 1986, the Youth Orchestra provides talented young musicians with a pre-professional orchestra training experience of the highest artistic standard. The Youth Orchestra performs three concerts in Severance Hall each season, as well as three orchestra concerts in the community and several performances by its chamber groups throughout the region.
Brett Mitchell is currently in his third season as music director of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra. In September 2012, Mr. Mitchell took on the additional post of music director of the Moores Opera Center in Houston where he leads four fully staged productions this season and while serving as assistant professor at the Moores School of Music.
In recent seasons, Mr. Mitchell has conducted performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as the orchestras of Baltimore, Memphis, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Washington D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra. He made his European debut in 2004 with Romania’s Brasov Philharmonic and his Latin American debut in 2005 with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico City. Recent return engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
In May 2011, Mr. Mitchell concluded his four-year tenure as assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony; he now regularly returns to the orchestra as a guest conductor. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Mitchell was assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France. He was also director of orchestras at Northern Illinois University from 2005 to 2007 and associate conductor of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble from 2002 to 2006, where he led many subscription programs, six world premieres, and several recording projects. Mr. Mitchell has served as music director of nearly a dozen opera productions, including Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Verdi's Falstaff, and several contemporary works.
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 his bachelor of music degree in composition from Western Washington University. Mr. Mitchell also participated in the National Conducting Institute in Washington D.C., and studied extensively with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival and with Kurt Masur as a recipient of the inaugural American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation Scholarship. Mr. Mitchell was one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious American Conducting Fellowship from 2007 to 2010.