Kingston Symphony Welcomes New Music Director

By Kingston Accommodation Partners

The Kingston Symphony Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Evan Mitchell as the association’s new Music Director and Conductor. Mr. Mitchell, currently assistant conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, is considered one of Canada’s most innovative young conductors. He recently completed a residency with the Vancouver Symphony and served as the official music consultant to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee, playing a key role in producing ceremonial recordings. His diplomatic and musical skills, and original programming, have been highly praised by fellow musicians.
Mr. Mitchell’s appointment is for a three-year term and takes effect on September 1, 2014.
“Evan Mitchell is one of the leading young conductors to appear on the Canadian scene,” said Harold Redekopp, President of the Kingston Symphony Association (KSA). “He has demonstrated an exceptional talent for connecting with a wide range of audiences – from the concert hall to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Evan’s impressive musical skills, coupled with his ability to mobilize social media and technology, will be a great asset as the KSA strives to engage with a broader audience.”

Mr. Mitchell said he is thrilled to be taking on the music directorship of the KSA, currently marking its 60th anniversary.

“Kingston truly is a magnificent city with deep history, and the prospect of working with such fine musicians and performing in the new Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is extremely exciting!” he said. “I am looking forward to making the very best music we can, celebrating the centuries of great composers past alongside new Canadian compositional talent. I think that in this great city with this great orchestra, the possibilities are endless! And I find that to be truly inspiring.”
Mr. Mitchell succeeds the KSA’s longtime Music Director, Glen Fast, who has held the position for the past 23 years and will continue to be involved with the orchestra as Conductor Emeritus. Over the next two years, he will conduct two concerts a year and perform other symphony-related functions.
“We are fortunate, indeed, to have experienced Glen Fast’s dynamic leadership of the KSA these past 23 years with many memorable performances of great orchestral repertoire,” said Mr. Redekopp. “Glen has been generous with his time and advice during the search for his successor. We are delighted he will continue to play an active part in the life of the orchestra.”
Mr. Mitchell, who won the 2009 Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting, studied conducting with Maestro Raffi Armenian at the University of Toronto, and with German conductor Helmuth Rilling in the inaugural Toronto Bach Festival. He also holds the title of Associate Mentor to orchestral conducting apprentices with the National Academy Orchestra, Canada’s largest orchestral music festival.
In addition to conducting, Mr. Mitchell has taught student musicians from the elementary to undergraduate levels and is a frequent adjudicator, coach and guest speaker at elementary and high schools. He has been guest principal conductor of the British Columbia Music Educator’s Conference Honour Ensemble, which is composed of talented, young musicians from around the province.
An award-winning percussionist, he has performed twice as a soloist with the Wilfrid Laurier University Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Mitchell was chosen from four finalists following a two-year search led by former KSA President Jim Wilson. Other members of the search committee were: Gisèle Dalbec, Peter Dawe, Ann Lukits, Harold Redekopp, Claire Shragge, and Wayne Tindale.
For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact Andrea Haughton, General Manager of the Kingston Symphony: 613-546-9729 or ahaughton@kingstonsymphony.on.ca.