The 2015-16 season marks Brett Mitchell’s third year as a member of the conducting staff of The Cleveland Orchestra, and as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. As assistant conductor, Brett Mitchell serves as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Music Festival subscription concerts, and provides assistance to music director Franz Welser-Möst. He has stepped in several times for ailing conductors to lead programs at Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Festival. In addition to his appointment with The Cleveland Orchestra, Brett Mitchell is in his fifth and final season as music director of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.
In June 2015, he led the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the ensemble's second international tour, to China. In recent seasons, Mr. Mitchell has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, as well as the orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Washington D.C., along with the 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).
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.
Updated: August 2015