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Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla Changes Role at Birmingham Symphony

After the 2021-22 season, the Lithuanian conductor will leave her post as Music Director and become the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor


Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla’s role as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s (CBSO) began in 2016. Her successor in the role will be Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada, who served as CBSO’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2018.

In an interview with Jessica Duchen of UK’s iNews agency, Gražinyte-Tyla explained that her choice to step down was a personal decision.

“I would love to continue, but I feel it’s the right step for me not to be a music director at present,” she said. “It’s a huge gift, but also a huge responsibility.”

She felt the need to “step away from the organizational and administrative responsibilities” of the position and focus more on her “purely musical activities.”

As Principal Guest Conductor, Gražinyte-Tyla will perform regularly with CBSO both in the UK and abroad. 

“I have such admiration and great fondness for the musicians of the CBSO and I am absolutely delighted that we shall continue to make music together in the coming years,” she stated. 

Achievements so far in her CBSO tenure include nine international tours including visits to Vienna Musikverein and Lucerne Festival; receiving Gramophone’s Record of the Year; and directing 13 premieres and 17 works by living composers, among other programs.

Gražinyte-Tyla is a graduate of music conservatories in Zurich, Leipzig, Italy, and Austria — where she completed conducting and choral studies at the University of Music and Fine Arts, Graz. Her mentors included Christian Ehwald, George Alexander Albrecht, Johannes Schlaefli, Herbert Blomstedt, and Colin Metters.

“We’re delighted to be continuing our relationship with Mirga and are hugely grateful to her for the unending energy, passion and creativity she pours into her work with us,” said Stephen Maddock, CEO of CBSO. 

“We’re thrilled that she has agreed to extend her commitment to the CBSO, and are pleased to be able to support her as she balances her working life,” Maddock continued. “We look forward to making music together into the future.”

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