Changing podium roles: Gražinyte-Tyla on her conducting life

Posted on: November 17, 2021

“Ever since Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla first stood on the podium of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as its new music director in 2016, this young Lithuanian conductor has been a figurehead for women who are finally breaking through one of classical music’s thickest glass ceilings,” writes Jessica Duchen in Tuesday’s (11/16) i newspaper (London, U.K.). “ ‘A huge change has taken place and is still taking place,’ Gražinyte-Tyla says. ‘It is a fact and it changes our collective awareness. And I’m very happy about it.’ … Almost overnight she became one of the best-loved musicians in the country…. In January, though, Gražinyte-Tyla startled her fans with the news that she will step down from her post at the end of this season, instead becoming the CBSO’s principal guest conductor…. Her successor will be the Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada. ‘It’s a personal decision, which at this period of my life is just the right one for me,’ says Gražinyte-Tyla.” Gražinyte-Tyla, who lives in Salzburg, Austria, discusses pandemic musical life, post-Brexit challenges, British composer Ruth Gipps (1921-99), a one-time oboist in the CBSO, and the importance of music education for children.