NY Times interviews Mirga. The answer’s still, No

NY Times interviews Mirga. The answer’s still, No


norman lebrecht

February 02, 2022

The Lithuanian conductor, presently involved with Cunning Little Vixen in Munich and then taking a third baby-break, was asked if she’d consider leading an American orchestra.

Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t expect Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla to be the music director of a major American orchestra any time soon.

“At the moment, I will be much more content to be a simple freelancer,” Gražinytė-Tyla, 35, said…

“People are different,” she continued. “But I think I need time where I am not studying or conducting or traveling or rehearsing to just be a whole human being.”

Full feature here.




  • music lover says:

    She simply hasn´t the qualification to get such a job.She hasn´t even been invited back for return engagements for the few US orchestras she did conduct after her sloppy and inconsistent performances(except for the Weinberg …).The Brahms 3rd at last years proms was a disaster.Karina Cannelakis beats her on every ,really every level.She definitely will be at the head of a major US orchestra in a few years.And Susanna Mälkki,of course(long overdue)…..Mrs Grazynite Tyla isn´t even remotely in this league.

    • IC225 says:

      Deutsche Grammophon, Salzburg Festival, Gramophone Awards, Lucerne Festival, Bavarian RSO, Gidon Kremer, etc all seem to disagree. Guessing you’ve not heard her perform live: I’d say she’s pretty much out of the league of most US orchestras, and certainly their audiences. Thanks for confirming that impression…

      • music lover says:

        The BRSO, not from what I heard… Among the organizations you mentioned, no first rate orchestra (safe for the BRSO,

      • NYMike says:

        On hearing/seeing Mirga conduct Brahms 4th with the Juilliard Orch. a few seasons back, my impression was: meh! FYI the JO continues to be amazing with performances of Mahler 5th, Rite of Spring, Ein Heldenleben, etc. in recent seasons.

      • music lover says:

        Well,i heard very different things from BRSO members…..Apart from this fabulous orchestra,you didn´t mention any top rate orchestra.Kremerata baltica isn´t even a symphony orchestra,actually it´s a chamber group,occasionally augmented,doing very well without any conductor at all…

    • John Kelly says:

      You’re right about Cannelakis. She’s terrific.

    • fflambeau says:

      I believe Susanna Mälkki will be hired either by Minny or by Seattle. Both would like a talented female leader and Minny has the Finnish people.

      • Nydo says:

        Malki’s two concerts with the NY Philharmonic that I have heard were both quite stiff and disappointing, and her recent broadcast with the Concertgebouw of the Ives Second Symphony was completely characterless. Speaking as a musician, I find her conducting technique to also be quite limited. Perhaps I will see better results in the future, but I am not that impressed so far.

  • RW2013 says:

    Do newspapers now do the hiring of conductors in the U.S. and A.?

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    “Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t expect Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla to be the music director of a major American orchestra any time soon.”

    There is a God after all! And he has heard our prayers!

  • Derek H says:

    She can choose what to do with her life. At this stage, she has decided to reduce her professional commitments and give herself a break.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone else gave her a break as well?

  • Monsoon says:

    Eye roll.

    If a major U.S. orchestra offers her a post, of course she’s going to consider it. And if it was one of the top orchestras with a top salary to match, she’d take it.

    • Gustavo says:

      Yes, if she’s the one who is funding the three exponentially growing children. Raising three kids would be more comfortable from a well-funded position (like in Birmingham or Chicago) than having to hop around the globe on a free-lance basis.

      However, her anonymous Salzburgian sperm donor may be so well situated that she can simply lean back, enjoy life, have fun with the little Papagenos and/or Papagenas and engage in some occasional cherry picking at her hometown festival.

  • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

    After her debut in Philadelphia, she was invited back for what is now an incredibly unusual two-week slot, which was a sign she had more than succeeded. Covid wiped that out.

  • Ira says:

    This just makes me love her all the more! What a welcome change.

  • he says:

    Anyone indelicate enough to tell the New York Times he/she covets a particular directorship is not worthy of it.

  • Kenny says:

    Oh Norman, just let it go already. You just enjoy trying to spell her name.

    • Rex Richards says:

      Spell her name?! I spent ages learning how to PRONOUNCE her name. And now she’s gone!
      I feel properly Knappertsbusch’d!

  • CBSOMusician says:

    The woman wont hold down any other big job while she puts her career on hold to live in Austria with Stadler. Thats why it didn’t work out here. He should move to wherever she is working.

  • Piston1 says:

    I’m sorry, but can we stick to the facts here? She got City of Birmingham — the greatest stepping-stone conducting job in the business — and then, like Dausgaard in Seattle, for whatever reason she started phoning it in. But leave it to the Times to make her into a kind of victim, as if nobody else had to feel “pressure” in their post. The NYT now essentially produces two kinds of articles regarding the state of classical music: one, demonizing white Americans; and two, valorizing white European stars.

  • Kirn Burger says:

    A pure puff piece by an inexperienced writer with no depth of knowledge. The Times will do this (probably when sufficiently bribed) on occasion to give their seal of approval to someone’s career. Probably to counteract the just reaction to her current status.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      That’s unfair. It’s a well-written, moderately knowledgeable piece, in the circumstances.

      • Nydo says:

        The problem is with the “moderately” knowledgeable status. The NYT has had questionable standards for its critics for several decades. I still remember the shock of reading reviews of Chicago playing the Rite of Spring commenting on the quality of the “oboe” solo at the beginning, and Philadelphia playing Mahler 3 “and its towering climax, extended almost beyond endurance over the bulls-eye strikes of the bass drum” by the full-time second critic a couple decades ago, or a concert a couple weeks ago where the main classical music critic of the moment confused Rimsky Korsakov with Tchaikovsky when mentioning the encore (and the paper couldn’t be bothered to correct it after it was pointed out).