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A Hard Act to Follow: Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla fills Nelsons' Shoes in Birmingham

LA Phil/Vern Evans
Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla"

Andris Nelsons generates new excitement every time he he steps up to the podium in Boston. But who's going to stir things up now that he's leaving Birmingham? Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, that's who!

Partnerships between conductor and orchestra are absolutely vital to the concert-goer’s symphonic experience, so it’s fascinating to see what happens when a conductor makes a move to a new city.  What dominoes will fall?  For instance, there was great speculation about who would follow Andris Nelsons as conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony, when he gave up that position in order to concentrate on his two new conducting roles, as music director of the Boston Symphony and music director-designate of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

The CBSO has a history of appointing young conductors at the beginning of a fabulous career, as Andrew Clements pointed out in the Guardian last month.  Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons have all gone on to great things after making their mark in Birmingham:  Rattle as Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic; Oramo as Chief conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra;  and Nelsons, who has created great excitement in both Boston and Leipzig.

So who’s next for Birmingham?  Enter Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, a 29-year-old Lithuanian conductor who has been dazzling audiences in Los Angeles recently, and more importantly, connecting deeply with the musicians of the LA Philharmonic.  One reviewer called her “a natural leader and a musical force of nature.”  Here she talks about the role of a conductor:

So the excitement is building in Birmingham!   Looking forward to great things, from Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla!