Faculty | Voice/Opera
Moores Opera Center
office: MSM 188
office phone: (713)743-XXXX
address: 120 School of Music Bldg, Houston, TX 77204-4017
One of America’s most exciting and promising young conductors, Brett Mitchell is Music Director of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra. His deep and immediate impact both on and off the podium was evidenced by energetic performances that shattered 75-year-old attendance records—including the organization’s first-ever sellout—and an enthusiastic reception throughout the community. Mitchell enjoyed a successful four-year tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Houston Symphony, whom he led in over one hundred performances from 2007 to 2011, several of which were broadcast nationwide on public radio’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today. He also currently serves as a regular cover conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra.
In recent seasons, Mitchell has led the London Philharmonic Orchestra; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; The Philadelphia Orchestra; the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Oregon, National, Memphis, Peoria, and Frankfurt Radio symphonies; the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra. Mitchell has also acted as musical assistant and cover conductor for The Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and The Philadelphia 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. Highlights of his 2011-12 season included return engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and two operas with the Moores Opera Center.
From 2006 to 2009, Mitchell was Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France, where his responsibilities included conducting the orchestra and assisting Music Director Kurt Masur and such guest conductors as Seiji Ozawa at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and on tour. 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. He has also served as music director of numerous opera productions, including Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Verdi’s Falstaff, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and several contemporary works.
A native of Seattle, Mitchell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was also Music Director of the University Orchestra. Prior to that, he earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Western Washington University. 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. Mitchell was also one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious American Conducting Fellowship from 2007 to 2010.