The next British music director will be a young woman

The next British music director will be a young woman


norman lebrecht

December 21, 2015

This is the first Slipped Disc prediction for 2016 and it is founded on solid inside information.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is in the hunt for a successor to Andris Nelsons and the players’ favourite at this moment is very talented young woman whose identity wild horses will not extract from us.

One other UK orchestra is also looking beyond its present arrangements. There, too, a prime candidate is non-male.

Barring accidents and agent malpractice, 2016 will bring a new feminine face to the British podium.



And about time, too.


  • Wurtfangler says:

    And the appointments will be announced on April 1st?

  • Snibor says:

    Is there a strong wind coming from the Baltic?

  • Furzwaengler says:

    Anyone know any member(s) of the CBSO who could enlighten us as to the identity of the mystery woman, as our Norman ‘ere refuses to spill the beans even under threat of the most severe Mazeppa treatment?

    • Halldor says:

      Fairly easy process of deduction – there weren’t many female conductors with the CBSO last season, and there aren’t very many currently scheduled for early 2016. Happy Googling!

      Although the CBO isn’t a player-run orchestra, the players effectively have right of veto over the MD appointment process: they’ll only appoint someone they’ve already worked with.

      • Halldor says:

        Of course, a strong hunch is not the same thing as a racing certainty.

        In the words of the immortal Lionel Monckton, “There’s many a slip between the tip / And the horse that wins the cup”

  • Peter says:

    “Agent malpractice”? You have examples relating to selection or engagement of music dirctors in the uk?

  • Grasscroft says:

    I do not have inside information, but this prediction may be a little premature.

    I’ve received a note in the post today inviting me, as a CBSO series subscriber, to a concert on 16th Jan at 7pm to be conducted by Omer Meir Wellber. Given that he only conducted the orchestra for the first time a few weeks ago, the obvious conclusion is that this event like the CBSO concert on Sunday 10th January, (which was also not in the original season schedule) is part of the search process.

  • anon says:

    It should be their, not there

  • TILL E. says:

    Why nobody ever tried monkeys in front of the orchestra?
    Training a monkey how to give downbeat takes about 10 minutes. And a few bananas. I hope no accountants read this.

    • Max Grimm says:

      If your suggestion were ever tried, I suspect the movements wouldn’t look all that different from what can be seen in the YouTube link “RW2013” posted above.

  • John says:

    The young woman in question is Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She was invited to conduct the CBSO last season and is conducting them again for a concert on 10 January, specially organised as a final test for suitability.

    She is just 29 years old and has a very little experience for such an important role. Nonetheless, she has impressed so far and the CBSO has gained a reputation for picking lesser-known figures. One hopes she is selected (something that looks increasingly likely) for the right reasons.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    RW2013 seems to have a rather wide mysoginystic streak running down his back……….fingers crossed that Ms Mirga Gražinytė-Tylas gets the job and sticks two fingers up to the “naysayers”………..let us hear it for Lietuva!