‘Why are we afraid of new music? We don’t like what we don’t know’ says conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

7 July 2017, 11:51 | Updated: 22 August 2017, 12:42

By Lizzie Davis

She’s the conductor everyone’s talking about! Since taking over as Music Director of our Orchestra in the Midlands, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mirga has wowed audiences with her thrilling performances. We spoke to her about new music, the place of tradition and how to overcome nerves

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was a little-known Lithuanian conductor when the CBSO announced she would be the orchestra’s next music director (following in the footsteps of Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle).

Now, she’s the conductor everyone in the music world is talking about. We spoke to her in a break from rehearsals at the Cheltenham Festival.

What’s you advice for dealing with pre-performance nerves?

It’s all about the music…


What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?


Here she is, in action, rehearsing Stravinsky’s Petruskha with the CBSO, at the Cheltenham Festival


Which conductors from the past have you most admired?

“I’ve had a lot of inspiration from great conductors from the past – Carlos Kleiber a lot…”

And finally, which composer would you most like to meet?

What would Mirga like to ask Haydn?

The Cheltenham Music Festival runs until 16 July. Find out more here.