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The Cleveland Orchestra extends Brett Mitchell’s contract as conductor through 2016-17 season

Contract also extended as music director of Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra

Release Date:  May 13, 2015

CLEVELAND, OHIO — The Cleveland Orchestra has announced an extension of conductor Brett Mitchell’s contracts. The agreement extends Mitchell’s tenure with the Orchestra for two years through the 2016-17 season and elevates his title from assistant conductor to associate conductor with the start of the 2015-16 season. A concurrent agreement extends Mitchell’s work as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra through the same period.

Brett Mitchell joined the conducting staff of The Cleveland Orchestra in September 2013. Over the past two seasons as assistant conductor, he has provided support to Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and served as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Festival concerts. In his first two years in Cleveland, Mitchell has stepped in several times for indisposed conductors for subscription concerts at Severance Hall and at the annual summer Blossom Music Festival. This work, along with conducting education, community, and collaborative programs and assisting with the Orchestra’s radio broadcasts, will continue under his contract extension.

“It is always exciting to be involved with the next generation of conductors,” said Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hanson. “Brett has proved his worth across all our activities, as an assistant to the world’s top conductors to the rewarding work of education concerts and his terrific efforts and results leading the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.”

2014-15 marked Mitchell’s second season as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. In June 2015 he leads the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the ensemble's second international tour, to China. As Assistant Conductor, Brett Mitchell currently holds the Elizabeth Ring and William Gwinn Mather Endowed Chair.


About Brett Mitchell
In addition to his appointment with The Cleveland Orchestra, Brett Mitchell has led performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He has also served as cover conductor and musical assistant for The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Mr. Mitchell recently concluded a five-year tenure as music director of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra (2010-2015), and he served as assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony from 2007 to 2011. He previously served as assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France from 2006 to 2009 and director of orchestras at Northern Illinois University from 2005 to 2007. Mr. Mitchell has also served as music director of nearly a dozen opera productions, principally at his former post as music director of the Moores Opera Center in Houston, where he led eight productions from 2010 to 2013.

A native of Seattle, Mr. Mitchell holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was also Music Director of the University Orchestra. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Western Washington University, which later selected him in as its 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year. Mr. Mitchell also participated in the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C., and studied extensively with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival and Kurt Masur as a recipient of the inaugural American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation Scholarship. Mr. Mitchell was also one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ American Conducting Fellowship from 2007 to 2010.