In August 2016, the young Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla became the new Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – one of the UK’s leading symphony orchestras. Based at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, it plays over 150 concerts each year in Birmingham and beyond – as well as managing four choruses, a youth orchestra, and a Learning and Participation programme that touches over 70,000 lives every year.
Elgar conducted the CBSO’s first symphonic concert in November 1920, but the orchestra really came into the international spotlight in 1980 when it appointed the 25-year old Simon Rattle as principal conductor. Under Rattle’s successors Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons the CBSO continued to build on that legacy. Now, under the dynamic leadership of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, associate conductor Michael Seal, assistant conductor Jonathan Bloxham and chorus director Simon Halsey CBE, the CBSO continues to play great music with passion to the widest possible audience.
And as the only professional symphony orchestra based between Bournemouth and Manchester, the CBSO is especially proud of its 97-year tradition of bringing great music to communities throughout the Midlands and the wider UK.
Combining the dynamism of youth and a profundity beyond her years, conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is a creative and technical force.
She has already enjoyed meaningful and lasting relationships with top orchestras all over the world. Notably, Gražinytė-Tyla was named Osborn Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in February 2016. She made her debut with the Orchestra in July 2015 and returned in January 2016. In becoming the Osborn Music Director, Gražinytė-Tyla follows in the footsteps of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons.
Gražinytė-Tyla was a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 2012-13 season. She became Assistant Conductor with the Orchestra in 2014, and was promoted to Associate Conductor for the 2016-17 season. Winner of the 2012 prestigious Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, she subsequently made her debut with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in a symphonic concert at the Salzburger Festspiele. Gražinytė-Tyla is serving as the Music Director of the Salzburg Landestheater from 2015 until 2017.
Gražinytė-Tyla has electrified audiences as a guest conductor in North America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Seattle and San Diego symphonies; in Europe, she has collaborated with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie, Choir of the Bavarian Radio, MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Vienna, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg, and the Orchestra of the Komische Oper in Berlin. At the Kremerata Baltica, Gražinytė-Tyla has enjoyed a dynamic collaboration with Gidon Kremer on extensive tours, most recently at the Vienna Festival. She has conducted numerous operas in Heidelberg and Bern, where she served as Kapellmeister, as well as in Salzburg and at the Komische Oper in Berlin.
Gražinytė-Tyla was discovered by the German Conducting Forum (Deutsches Dirigentenforum) in April 2009, and was one of the revelations of the 2009 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar in Bonn, Germany, on “The Art of Conducting Beethoven”. A native of Vilnius, Lithuania, she was born into a musical family. Before pursuing her studies at the Music Conservatory in Zurich, she studied at the Music Conservatory Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig and at the Music Conservatory in Bologna, Italy. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in choral and orchestral conducting from the University of Music and Fine Arts, Graz, Austria. She has participated in numerous master classes and conducting workshops and worked with many established conductors and professors such as Christian Ehwald, George Alexander Albrecht, Johannes Schlaefli, Herbert Blomstedt, Colin Metters and Kurt Masur.
Mirga’s position with the CBSO is generously supported by John Osborn.