Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla to quit as music director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

22 January 2021, 10:40 | Updated: 22 January 2021, 10:58

Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla to quit as music director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla to quit as music director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Picture: Benjamin Ealovega

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Gražinytė-Tyla will continue as music director until summer 2022, before moving to the role of Principal Guest Conductor.

Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla will be stepping down from the helm of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) in summer 2022, to move to the role of Principal Guest Conductor.

The Lithuanian conductor was named music director of the great ensemble, Classic FM’s Orchestra in the Midlands, in February 2016.

In taking the baton, Gražinyte-Tyla followed in the footsteps of Sir Simon Rattle, who recently announced he would be leaving the London Symphony Orchestra for Munich’s Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Describing her reasons for leaving as “a deeply personal decision”, Gražinyte-Tyla added she was looking forward to stepping away from the “administrative responsibilities of being a Music Director” to focus more on “purely musical activities”.

The CBSO said Gražinyte-Tyla will “extend her commitment to the orchestra” by continuing as Osborn Music Director for an additional season, until summer 2022.

Read more: Who could replace Sir Simon Rattle at the London Symphony Orchestra? >

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Stephen Maddock, chief executive of the CBSO, said: “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.

“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. We look forward to making music together into the future.”

During her CBSO tenure, Gražinytė-Tyla signed with prestigious record label Deutsche Grammophon, becoming the first female conductor to secure an exclusive long-term contract with the Yellow label.

She travelled with the orchestra on nine international tours including visits to the Vienna Musikverein and Lucerne Festival, and triumphed together with the Midlands ensemble at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2020, winning the coveted Recording of the Year for Weinberg symphonies.

Gražinytė-Tyla said: “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.”