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Banner Season for Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Reaches Local, National, and International Audiences

COYO embarks on second international tour in June 2015, to China

COYO and Brett Mitchell featured in performance during May 2015 League of American Orchestras Conference in Cleveland

Release Date:  May 13, 2015

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Following the conclusion of a successful 2014-15 Severance Hall season on May 3, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) will make a nine-day, four-concert tour to China June 15-24, 2015. The tour includes performances in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Ningbo featuring Shostakovich’s Festive Overture; Kilar’s Orawa; Barber’s Medea’s Dance of Vengeance; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. On June 14, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will present a free China tour send-off concert. WCLV 104.9 FM will broadcast the send-off performance live; it can also be streamed online at Further details of the tour are included below.

On the occasion of the League of American Orchestras’ 2015 Conference, held in Cleveland May 27-29, COYO alumnus and world-renowned cellist Alisa Weilerstein makes a special appearance with COYO as part of the conference’s Opening Session concert on May 27 at Public Auditorium. The program features Weilerstein performing Saint-Saëns’s “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals, and she joins the Youth Orchestra for a performance of the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Alisa Weilerstein was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra from 1992 to 1994, and made her debut with The Cleveland Orchestra at its High School Matinee Concert in October 1995.

At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Brett Mitchell’s contract as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will be extended for two years and his role with The Cleveland Orchestra will continue for the same period, as associate conductor. 

2015 China Tour

Seventy-five members of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will travel on the tour, representing more than forty communities in a dozen counties throughout Northeast Ohio. In addition to concerts, tour activities for the Youth Orchestra members include guided historic sightseeing tours of each city as well as visits to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Temple of Heaven.

These performances mark the Youth Orchestra’s second international tour in its 29-year history.  In June 2012, the Youth Orchestra made its first international tour, with concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s tour is made possible in part through the generosity of the Vinney family. In 2011, the Jules and Ruth Vinney Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Touring Fund was established to help cover costs of Youth Orchestra touring and to provide scholarships to eligible Youth Orchestra members.  An endowment gift from the Jules and Ruth Vinney Philanthropic Fund, advised by their children Les Vinney, Margo Vinney, and Karen Jacobs, established this generous Touring Fund, which will provide perpetual support toward the Youth Orchestra’s ongoing touring program.


Sunday, June 14, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.
Severance Hall
Brett Mitchell, conductor

SHOSTAKOVICH      Festive Overture
KILAR                         Orawa
BARBER                     Medea’s Dance of Vengeance
TCHAIKOVSKY         Symphony No. 4
*Program remains the same for each tour performance

Free and open to the public, tickets available at or by contacting the Severance Hall Ticket Office at 216-231-1111.

Thursday, June 18, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, China*

Friday, June 19, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Tianjin Grand Theatre, Tianjin, China*

Sunday, June 21, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai, China*

Monday, June 22, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Ningbo Poly Theatre, Ningbo, China*

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is supported by generous grants from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundationand gifts from many other donors. Endowment support is provided by The George Gund Foundation.

The China Tour is made possible in part by the Jules and Ruth Vinney Touring Fund, created to help support the current and future musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra through a generous endowment gift.

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. For a complete biography, visit


About the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra

The 2014-15 season marks the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s 29th year and the second season under the direction of Brett Mitchell. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is one of northern Ohio’s premier musical destinations for aspiring student musicians. Since its inaugural concert in 1987, the Youth Orchestra has performed more than 130 concerts and provided a musical home to over 1,300 talented young instrumentalists. Founded by Jahja Ling, then resident conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra provides serious young music students of middle school and high school age with a pre-professional orchestral training experience in a full symphony orchestra. The unique musical experiences that the Youth Orchestra offers include weekly coachings with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, rehearsals and performances in historic Severance Hall, and opportunities to work with internationally renowned guest artists and conductors, which have included Marin Alsop, Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. For a complete biography, visit this link.