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Cleveland Orchestra Presents Free Community Concert at Severance Hall Today

Cleveland Orchestra Presents Free Community Concert at Severance Hall Today

The Cleveland Orchestra announces a free community concert in which the Orchestra performs "side-by-side" with members of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO). The concert will be given in Severance Hall tonight, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. and will be conducted by Brett Mitchell, who is in his first season as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Musical selections to be performed by The Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra are Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Michael Torke's Bright Blue Music, and two movements from Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. Violinist James Thompson, currently a student of Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil at the Cleveland Institute of Music, will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra as soloist in Saint-Saëns's Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra. Mr. Thompson was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra from 2005 to 2012. His positions in COYO included principal second violin, followed by concertmaster.

The Cleveland Orchestra is committed to promoting music-making and nurturing aspiring musicians across Northeast Ohio. In this unique annual concert, featuring Cleveland Orchestra musicians sitting "side-by-side" with Youth Orchestra members, Cleveland Orchestra musicians mentor their younger counterparts and serve as role models.

Admission to this concert is free, with general admission seating, but tickets are required. Tickets are available now, on a first-come, first-served basis, through the Severance Hall Ticket Office in person; by phone at 216-231-1111 or 800-686-1141; or online at clevelandorchestra.com. There is a limit of 6 tickets per household.

BRETT MITCHELL is in his first season as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. As assistant conductor, he serves as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Festival subscription concerts, and provides assistance to music director Franz Welser-Möst. In addition to his appointment with The Cleveland Orchestra, Brett Mitchell is currently in his fourth season as music director of Michigan's Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra. In recent seasons, Mr. Mitchell has led the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as the orchestras of Baltimore, Memphis, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Washington D.C.'s National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra. He has also acted as musical assistant and cover conductor with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. Recent return engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Mitchell served as assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony (2007-11), where he concurrently held a League of American Orchestras American Conducting Fellowship. Since that time, he has returned to lead that orchestra regularly as a guest conductor. 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), where he led 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. 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.

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