Just in: Mirga jumps in for first post-Covid concert tour

Just in: Mirga jumps in for first post-Covid concert tour


norman lebrecht

May 28, 2020

The Konzerthausorchester Berlin are telling us they are the first to play away from home since restrictions were lifted in Germany.

On June 7, they will fulfil a date in Dortmund with the Haydn cello concerto (soloist Kian Soltani) and Beethoven’s 4th symphony.

The conductor should have been Christoph Eschenbach, but he’s considered at high risk of infection due to advanced age. His replacement, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, was one of the first to fall sick back in March and is confident of her immunity. She is also in an advanced state of pregnancy with her second child.



  • Amos says:

    Placental transfer of maternal IgG to the fetus is well documented and shown to be protective. That said given how many questions remain as to the immune 1/2 life of anti-COVID IgG and the possibility of re-infection I think it is a foolish decision. I’m sure everyone involved will take appropriate precautions but the risk/reward seems too great.

  • M2N2K says:

    Just 14 months ago she announced that she would not guest conduct anywhere for two years, but now, in the middle of a pandemic and in the third trimester of her pregnancy, she is flying to Dortmund for a concert with a Berlin orchestra? Seems rather strange.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Indeed, last year she announced no guest conducting for two years. Her cancellation of Philadelphia was duly celebrated in this space, as is now the announcement of a guest conducting appearance in Germany while pregnant. Mirga can do no wrong.

  • batonbaton says:

    that’s all we need…. more Mirga – but, of course, NL will get hot under the collar in a sweat of anticipation

  • Violinist says:

    I thought she was taking a break from working with anyone else other than the CBSO? Also, she is “confident” of her immunity? Phew. Everyone, you heard it from Mirga first!

    • IC225 says:

      The CBSO is not performing at present; the players are furloughed. My understanding is that they support her 100% in this.

  • RW2013 says:

    Like buying a ticket for Karajan and getting Alondra…

  • Jim says:

    First photo from the rehearsal of the first Italian classical concert in epidemic Italy.
    At Palazzo del Quirinale Daniele Gatti and the Rome Opera Orchestra. 15 players all with surgical masks.


  • C Porumbescu says:

    And cue the usual parade of cheap, tone-deaf misognyny. Same old Slipped Disc comments section. What a great advertisement you all are for the ennobling qualities of classical music…

  • John says:

    I completely agree that there is a streak of misogyny running through much of the reaction to female conductors that is dismaying. Consider for example how many lines of reviews of concerts conducted by Mirga have been devoted to what she is wearing. Or comments regarding her “high voice” meaning that she “lacks authority”.

    That being said, it is also possible to criticise a female without being sexist. In the same way, it would be possible to criticise, say, someone from Australia without this automatically meaning that the person giving the criticism is biased against everyone coming from that country.

    The comments in the above stream that are on point relate to Mirga’s volte face. Or should that be a double volte face? First, she was guest conducting far and wide. Then, she announced that she was radically streamlining her guest conducting to almost zero, in many cases at relatively short notice and dropping orchestras in it. Now, she is leaping into a guest conducting engagement again. Yes, the goalposts have shifted in that the CBSO is currently furloughed, but whether they support Mirga’s decision here is peripheral. Perhaps they are grateful for anything that gives them some sort of profile-by-association right now. The other side of those goalposts shifting is the emergence of a novel virus which we still are at the beginnings of our understanding of – and which Mirga has had – while pregnant. Put in this greater context, the decision to take on this engagement is somewhat baffling.