Maestro no-move: Mirga nixes Montreal

Maestro no-move: Mirga nixes Montreal


norman lebrecht

February 12, 2019

We hear that Birmingham’s Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has turned down an offer to succeed Kent Nagano at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

That leaves two Francophones in the main frame: Alain Altinoglu and Francois Xavier Roth.

Also on the shortlist are Vasily Petrenko and Rafael Payare.



  • Emil says:

    Yeah, I’m gonna need a source on that. She has never even set foot in Montreal, as far as I know.

    • Paul Wells says:

      Although that *would* be a good reason to turn down the gig.

    • aj says:

      It is interesting to note that in all of Canada they
      cannot find a home grown talent to lead this
      modest orchestra .

      • Emil says:

        Yes, the Orchestra that will play next month in Paris, Vienna, and the Berlin Philharmonie is “modest”.

      • msc says:

        There are, of corse, some very good Canadian conductors, but none with a sufficiently high profile — it is an old story. Nonetheless, I hope they at least considered Yves Abel.

        • aj says:

          Of course you are not serious. His little
          lecture on Traviata had us laughing all
          afternoon.some may wonder why the art form is pretty well done with /

          • msc says:

            I can only comment based on his recordings I have heard, the one concert I attended, and half a dozen or so concert/opera relays. I don’t know the lecture to which you refer, and I won’t try to second guess you, but I will say that some good musicians can be astonishingly inept when it comes to talking about music. Again, I don’t know the situation you mention.

        • Karl says:

          I like a local guy named Jean-Marie Zeituni. He has made recordings with Les Violins du Roy on the ATMA label.

  • MacroV says:

    I don’t have anything against Mirga the way many on SD appear to, but is she really the best the OSM could do? What happened to all the speculation about Susanna Malkki? (though she’s only conducted them twice, IIRC).

  • MSC says:

    My impression is that Payare doesn’t seem to belong in that company, but the others would all be good choices on purely musical grounds. I like Montreal, but I’m not sure if, were I Petrenko, I would choose the MSO over staying with Liverpool and Oslo.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      He’s leaving Oslo and Liverpool

    • Karl says:

      They call it the OSM; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

    • The View from America says:

      There isn’t anything objectionable about Payare, but nothing particularly memorable, either (so far). San Diego would seem to be a good stint for him at the moment, and then go for an OSQ or similar position as the next step at some future point.

      What’s risky for a conductor’s career is to be placed in a highest-profile position too soon, lest he or she ends up suffering the “Lionel Bringuier effect.”

  • Larry says:

    Will Payare stay in San Diego?

  • Karl says:

    Vasily Petrenko is awesome. I don’t recall Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla ever being in Montreal either.

  • Brian says:

    Petrenko is leaving Liverpool but he’s going to the R. P. O.

  • Bruckner says:

    As far as musicianship is concerned it is obviously VP or perhaps Roth if one is up to more of a French flair. VP’s choice of the hard core mainstream RPO was odd and Montreal may be a good supplement.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Francois Xavier Roth would make a good Concertgebouw candidate as well.

    • Robert Groen says:

      I don’t know too much about Roth, he seems to specialize in French repertoire (correct me if I am wrong) but if he doesn’t have a solid grounding in German/Austrian music (Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss et al) he can forget Amsterdam. Oh, I forgot: the successful candidate in the Dutch capital must also have the sex drive of a garden slug, or something less than that. I am still fuming about the great Daniele Gatti, as you can see. What a world we live in!

  • Observer says:

    She has never conducted the orchestra, the musicians don’t know her… Knowing how this organization is run (especially regarding the search for Nagano’s successor), she can NOT have been offered the job. She might have turned down an invitation as a guest and the opportunity to be added to the short list, though.