Mirga: I don’t want to be a music director right now

Mirga: I don’t want to be a music director right now


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2021

The Lithuanian condcutor Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla opens up a bit more on why she’s leaving the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

In an interview with Jessica Duchen she says: ‘It’s a personal decision, which at this period of my life is just the right one for me… I would love to continue, but I feel it’s the right step for me not to be a music director at present. It’s a huge gift, but also a huge responsibility.’

And after this season? ‘It will be mostly guest-conducting and some opera productions.’

So that’s a No to the New York Phil?

Full interview here.



  • Tamino says:

    Stop pushing her toward the edge of the cliff. She is not ready for the NYPhil post yet, and she knows it and they know it. Let her develop at her own pace.
    She will jump off that cliff when her wings are strong enough.

  • John Kelly says:

    The New York Phil? Pull the other one it’s got bells on….

  • Haha says:

    No one pushed her for the Birmingham post.

  • kundry says:

    whew ! what a relief! keep that good thought.

  • Bet says:

    She’s just playing hard to get.

    Muti was not supposed to take on anything after La Scala, until New York started wooing him and Chicago finally made him, ahem, an offer he couldn’t refuse ; )

    Wait til Borda starts working her magic on Mirga:
    -$2M starting salary,
    -duplex overlooking Central Park,
    -admission into an elite preschool for her kids (hence the necessity of that $2M salary!)
    -principal percussionist for her husband at the Philharmonic

  • freddynyc says:

    As if the NY Phil was the end all be all – what have been the most memorable performances or recordings from the last 30 years from this band….?

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Well, we can rule out anything involving recordings from Jaap, Alan Gilbert, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta…

      Hmmm…would it be any of their recordings with Haitink? Jansons? Abbado? Carlos Kleiber? Karajan?…

    • BRUCEB says:

      Fabulous set of Brahms symphonies with Masur in the early 90’s

      Fabulous set of Nielsen symphonies with Gilbert in the 2010’s

      There are probably others that I don’t know. (I was very much not a fan of Maazel, but they might have done something good with him.)

      • Tamino says:

        Neither are that memorable. Bland live recordings. My last recollection of some memorable recording they did was when Lenny was chief.

    • Bone says:

      Literally can’t think of one memorable recording they’ve made in ages.

  • NYMike says:

    I heard her conduct Juilliard a few years ago. I was not impressed with her Brahms 4th. The Juilliard Orchestra puts out fully professional performances. Last night’s Heldenleben/Pappano was a delight!

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    The New York Philharmonic are in no way the best in the world; probably not even the best in NYC. Jaap was their 4th choice.

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    Maybe she needs to see life from a completely different perspective. Perhaps she should work in a grocery store or delivering mail?

  • debuschubertussy says:

    honestly, at this point she can do better than the NY Phil…

  • Franz1975 says:

    Good. Please, continue thinking that indefinitely.

  • mary says:

    Unfortunately, one sees this sexist phenomenon all the time in other professions:

    A super talented young woman makes great and promising strides in her field, miles ahead of her competition, men and women alike, until … she gives birth.

    And then, either because of socio-economic structure or biology or maternal instinct or a combination of all three, she immediately puts everything on hold (and often eventually quits the field altogether) to become a full-time mother.

    It is sexist because this phenomenon is not seen equally in men. Perhaps in a truly equitable society, we should and would also see half of men pausing their careers and devoting their time to child rearing.

    • Malcolm James says:

      There are plenty of men who would like to do that, but women always have first option on this role. Also, they can find out that being the sole, or main, breadwinner is not the picnic they might have thought.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Your comment suggests that working for a living is somehow better than raising and nurturing children. They are not EQUAL pursuits; one is about dollars and cents and the other is about parental love and care.

      No contest. Well, perhaps it IS contest -which might explain the miseries and modern youth, their alienation and depression. But please, don’t give it a second’s thought.

  • Wannaplayguitar says:

    There are very sound biological and evolutionary reasons why child rearing women are often floored by the competitive and aggressive realities of the jungle, that is the corporate music scene. I don’t see why anyone should feel ashamed of admitting this. We all knew it anyway.

  • Stuard Young says:

    Well then……there is always Karina. Having seen them both work with the Philadelphia, Mirga was fine, but Karina blew me away. ‘Twas, unfortunately, only one concert each (Mirga’s additional visits were postponed by her baby, then the pandemic), and I am not rushing to judgement. Both are committed to less explored, but important repertoire (Mirga has recorded two Weinberg symphonies for DG, and was to perform his Symphony 3 here. Karina’s expanding repertoire includes interesting living composers, and her “Bluebeard’s Castle” pandemic concert video was a knockout.) looking forward to hearing more from these dynamic ladies in the New World!