In Tuesday’s (11/18) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Zachary Lewis writes that the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s music director, Brett Mitchell, “has confirmed plans to escort the group to China at the end of this season…. In addition to visiting and performing in … Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Hangzhou, the group also will devote time to absorbing Chinese culture and taking in a range of utterly foreign sights, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square…. ‘It’s so far from the Western art music we specialize in,’ Mitchell noted. ‘But we’re all comfortable and confident we can make it a huge success.’ ” The orchestra’s regular season includes Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Debussy’s La Mer, Harris’s Symphony No. 3, and Adams’s The Chairman Dances. “Which of these works will accompany the group to China, Mitchell could not yet say. Still, he was certain about two things when it comes to tour repertoire. One: Adams’s ‘Chairman Dances’ (which depicts China’s former leader, Mao Zedong) won’t be going anywhere. Two: At least one work will be American…. ‘It’s important to me to bring American music with us, to be ambassadors for American music,’ Mitchell said. ‘The kids could not be more excited.’ ”

Posted November 20, 2014