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Aug 24, 2018

Gustav Mahler once said that a symphony must be like the world, in that it must contain everything. But when it comes to classical music, is that 'container' (think of the pageantry, the dressing up, the protocols of when to clap or cough) getting in the way? 

Ben sits down with the young, ambitious and innovative Music Director of the Kingston Symphony, Evan Mitchell, for a conversation about the meaning and power of music, the responsibility of those who make it, and the onus on us in the audience to meet half-way.

About the Guest

Evan Mitchell is proving to be one of the most able and imaginative young conductors in Canada. Mr. Mitchell has enjoyed four triumphant seasons as Music Director of the Kingston Symphony Association, garnering praise for his programming, approach, and musical results. During the past two seasons, the Kingston Symphony's entire Masterworks Series has sold out under Mr. Mitchell's leadership.

During his various conducting residencies, Mr. Mitchell has led over 200 concerts, acted as a Canadian ambassador during a historic two-week tour of China, Korea and Macau, and served as an official consultant to the Vancouver Olympic Committee and Assistant Producer for the recording of the medal ceremony national anthems.

He has also brought the magic of orchestral music to over 500,000 students and children, many of whom had never experienced a live performance first hand. His programs for young people have been recognized for their appeal and educational mandate.

Equally comfortable in the realm of contemporary music and opera, Mr. Mitchell has premiered over 20 new Canadian works and is a strong advocate for music by Canadian composers. He is also the Principal Conductor of Opera 5, an award-winning independent opera company based in Toronto, which is responsible for a popular web series entitled Opera Cheats.

Mr. Mitchell is a champion of initiatives designed to enhance the live concert experience, such as insider videos, informational podcasts, pre-concert talks, and special concerts devoted to live, onstage insights into major orchestral works. His program SoundSync, which involves real-time updates delivered silently to mobile devices during the concert, was hailed as the greatest technological innovation in the concert hall of 2014 by the CBC.

Among his recent career highlights, Mr. Mitchell was Principal Conductor of the World Harp Congress, in which he conducted eight harp concerti with some of the world’s best harpists. He is a regular guest conductor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He has also led orchestral collaborations with the Barenaked Ladies, Judy Collins, and Pink Martini.

Learn more about Evan.