A Little Help From My Friends: The Colorado Symphony Can Thank The Beatles For Its Conductor

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7min 49sec
Brett Michell, conductor of the Colorado Symphony stands facing the audience with the symphony after a performance.
Brandon Marshall
Music director Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony

Do you remember the first time you heard classical music?  Brett Mitchell, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony, thinks for him, it may have been the Beatles! Yes, the Beatles. 

Listening to this great pop music from the 60’s, I was getting a great dose of classical music.

Brett Mitchell

Classical music is an important part of movies, television, and concealed in the DNA of some of the modern popular music we know and love.

“There are all sorts of ways to get yourself into the world of classical music and it doesn’t necessarily have to be that you’re listening to Mozart from the time you’re in the womb,” said Mitchell. “I came to classical music quite late but what I didn’t know was that even in listening to this great pop music from the 60’s, I was getting a great dose of classical music.”

CO Symph Music Dir. Brett Mitchell learned about classical music through the Beatles

Listen as Brett Mitchell explains why The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” has hints of Vivaldi. Paul McCartney’s then girlfriend can take some credit for that. Mitchell also teases out the classical influence on Bernard Herrmann’s score to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and more.

Listen to CPR Classical on your radio at 88.1 FM in Denver, stream the music on this website by clicking on "Listen Live", or by asking your smart speaker to "Play CPR Classical." (Find other ways to listen.)