Seven things you need to know about Mirga

Seven things you need to know about Mirga


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2016

1 The new music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra was spotted by Kurt Masur at a conducting seminar in 2009.

2 She blew away all competition to win the Salzburg-Nestlé Competition three years later.

3 Gidon Kremer, the most thoughtful of violinists, took her under wing.

4 At the LA Phil, players say she’s the best they’ve seen since Dudamel.

5 She has already been tapped by one US orch with a music director offer.

6 She’s great with kids.

7 She has a musician boyfriend.

mirga graz


  • SFD says:

    …the best since Dudamel. Well… If they say it.

    • Halldor says:

      Terrific though she is, she didn’t quite “blow away all competition” at Salzburg in 2012. In second place (and the judges said it was close – so much so that, unprecedentedly, they offered him a concert in the 2013 Festival anyway) was Jamie Phillips, now assistant conductor at the Halle and a Dudamel Fellow in LA.

      And, as it happens, the son of a member of the CBSO and an ex- member of the CBSO Youth Orchestra. Also a very striking talent, but considerably younger than Mirga.

      The point to take away here being that if you want to spot the most exciting young conductors, Birmingham is usually a good place to start looking…

  • Max Grimm says:

    Why exactly do we “need to know” that she has a (musician) boyfriend?
    I can well imagine the answers any poster would have received, had he asked a question about Gražinytė-Tyla’s relationship status.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    “6 She’s great with kids.

    7 She has a musician boyfriend.”

    Why do we need to know that??? Do you really not see the sexist implications of this?

    • RW2013 says:

      6. Then she should be a Kindergarten teacher.
      7. Do they make music together out of wedlock?

    • Reader says:

      Agreed. For someone who blogs so often about feminism in the profession, remarking that “she’s great with kids” is not quite in line . . .

      Worth taking down?

    • TimWalton says:

      6. She is great with kids

      This is very important, particularly with the CBSO as they do an enormous amount of work with children both with concerts for children and visiting schools.

  • Daniel F. says:

    “The best…since Dudamel” is not an especially high bar.

    • TimWalton says:

      There is a Birmingham connection between Mirga and Gustavo.

      They both made their UK Debuts at Symphony Hall. Mirga with the CBSO and Dudamel with the Gothenburg SO.

  • Geoffrey Terry says:

    Let’s hope that ‘passion and romance’ feature in her natural approach to ‘true culture’.

    I certainly respect Kurt Masur’s approval:

    An aside: the entire population should be aware of TTIP.

  • Dave says:

    Great use of her left hand while conducting. You can see the music just by looking at her hand gestures.