Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

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Gražinytė-Tyla in 2019

Conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2017

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (born Mirga Gražinytė, 29 August 1986 in Vilnius)[1] is a Lithuanian conductor. She was the musical director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).[2]


Early years and education[edit]

Gražinytė-Tyla was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her father, Romualdas Gražinis, is a choir conductor affiliated with the Aidija Chamber Choir in Vilnius.[3] Her mother Sigutė Gražinienė is a pianist and singer.[4] Her grandmother Beata Vasiliauskaitė-Šmidtienė was a violinist.[5] Her great-uncle was an organist, and her great-aunt was a composer.[6] The oldest of three siblings,[7] her sister Onutė Gražinytė is a pianist, and she has a younger brother, Adomas Gražinis.

As a child, Gražinytė-Tyla received her initial education in French and painting,[4] and studied at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art in Vilnius. At age 11, she decided that she wanted to study music, and the one remaining musical programme option was choral conducting. She subsequently received musical training and education without ever playing a musical instrument.[8] She first conducted a choir at age 13.[9] She subsequently continued music studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz,[10] where her instructors included Johannes Prinz,[6] and completed her degree in 2007. She subsequently studied conducting at the Music Conservatory Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig with Ulrich Windfuhr and the Music Conservatory in Zurich (where her mentors included Johannes Schlaefli).[9] Gražinytė-Tyla chose to add the word 'Tyla', Lithuanian for 'silence', to form her professional name.[11][12]


Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO take the applause after a performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in January 2017

Gražinytė-Tyla became Second Kapellmeister (2. Kapellmeisterin) at the Theater Heidelberg in the 2011–2012 season.[13] In 2012, she won the Nestlé and Salzburg Young Conductors Competition. With the 2013–2014 season, she became First Kapellmeister (1. Kapellmeisterin) at the Bern Opera.[5] Gražinytė-Tyla became music director of the Salzburger Landestheater with the 2015–2016 season, with an initial contract of 2 seasons.[14] She concluded her music directorship of the Salzburger Landestheater after the 2016–2017 season.[15]

In the US, Gražinytė-Tyla was a Gustavo Dudamel Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2012–2013 season. In July 2014, she was named the orchestra's assistant conductor, on a 2-year contract.[16] In August 2015, the orchestra named her its new associate conductor, effective with the end of the 2015–2016 season, contracted through 2017.[17]

In July 2015, Gražinytė-Tyla first guest-conducted the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).[18] She was subsequently engaged for an additional concert with the CBSO in January 2016.[19] In February 2016, the CBSO named her as its next music director, effective September 2016, with an initial contract of 3 years.[20][21] She conducted her first concert as CBSO music director on 26 August 2016 in Birmingham,[22] and made her first appearance at The Proms the following evening, 27 August 2016. Gražinytė-Tyla is the first female conductor to be named music director of the CBSO.[23] In May 2018, the CBSO announced the extension of Gražinytė-Tyla's contract as its music director through the 2020–2021 season.[24] In January 2021, the CBSO announced that Gražinytė-Tyla is to conclude her tenure as CBSO music director after the 2021–2022 season, and subsequently to take on the post of principal guest conductor of the CBSO.[25]

In February 2019, Gražinytė-Tyla signed an exclusive long-term recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon (DG). She is the first female conductor ever to sign an exclusive recording contract with DG.[26] Her first DG recording, issued in 2019, was of symphonies of Mieczysław Weinberg, with the CBSO.[27] In October 2020, it won the 'Album of the Year' prize at the annual Gramophone Awards. Her following DG albums include works by Raminta Šerkšnytė, Benjamin Britten,[28] Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Walton.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Gražinytė-Tyla's partner is a musician. The couple have two sons (one born on 26 August 2018, and the other born in August 2020) and one daughter. [30][31][32] The family maintains a residence in Salzburg.[33]


  1. ^ "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Nalivaikaitė, Paulina; Kinka, Romas. "Mirga Gražinytė: Flying the Flag for Lithuanian Music". mic.lt. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  3. ^ Richard Bratby (24 May 2019). "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla interview: 'When I think about recording, I feel a sense of responsibility about the fact that what we do stays there forever'". Gramophone. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b James Chute (28 November 2015). "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla on the art of collaboration". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b Milda Augulytė (29 March 2014). "M.Gražinytė-Tyla batutos judesius apskaičiavo milimetro tikslumu". Lietuvos Rytas. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ivan Hewett (16 August 2016). "Meet conducting's next superstar: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla". Telegraph. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  7. ^ Fiona Maddocks (14 April 2016). "Mirga takes the baton: the CBSO music director on her new job". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  8. ^ Ulrike Henningsen (12 February 2016). "Das Allerwichtigste ist das innere Wachstum". Deutschlandradio Kultur. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  9. ^ a b Oliver Meier (30 November 2013). "Jetzt beginnt die Ära der Dirigentinnen". Berner Zeitung. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  10. ^ David Ng (26 December 2014). "L.A. Phil's Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla conducts herself with aplomb". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  11. ^ Seamas O'Reilly (30 August 2017). "The conductor who prefers to work with silence". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  12. ^ Hannah Nepil (28 July 2017). "Conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla — a combination of flamboyance and steely poise". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  13. ^ Anna Schweingel (12 July 2012). "Brauche Ewigkeiten von Einsamkeit". Mannheimer Morgen. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Neue Direktorinnen für Salzburger Landestheater". Salzburger Nachrichten. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  15. ^ Christopher Morley (12 May 2016). "Dates set for Mirga to pick up the baton in Birmingham". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla Appointed Assistant Conductor of Los Angeles Philharmonic" (Press release). 28 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  17. ^ Tre'vell Anderson (10 August 2015). "L.A. Phil's Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla is promoted to associate conductor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  18. ^ Christopher Morley (27 July 2015). "Review: Summer Concert, CBSO at Symphony Hall". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  19. ^ Andrew Clements (12 January 2016). "CBSO/Gražinyte-Tyla review – attention to every morsel of detail". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  20. ^ "New Music Director Announced" (Press release). City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  21. ^ Christopher Morley and Sarah Probert (4 February 2016). "CBSO announces Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla will be next Music Director". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  22. ^ David Hart (27 August 2016). "Review: Welcoming Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, CBSO at Symphony Hall". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  23. ^ Imogen Tilden (4 February 2016). "CBSO appoints 29-year-old Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as music director". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla extends CBSO contract" (Press release). City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla extends contract with the CBSO" (Press release). City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. 22 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla signs to Deutsche Grammophon". Gramophone. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  27. ^ David Fanning (June 2019). "Weinberg: Symphonies – Nos 2 & 21,'Kaddish' (Gražinytė-Tyla)". Gramophone. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  28. ^ "The Listening Room; Episode 101 (October 16, 2020)". Gramophone. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  29. ^ David Allen (1 April 2021). "5 Classical Albums to Hear Right Now". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  30. ^ "Dirigentė Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla susilaukė kūdikio". Žmonės. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Tarptautinę šlovę pelniusi Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla susilaukė pirmagimio". Delfi. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  32. ^ Fisher, Neil. "Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla: 'I gave Covid to our principal cellist'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  33. ^ Fiona Maddocks (23 March 2019). "Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla: 'British orchestras don't have an easy life'". The Observer. Retrieved 30 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Leo Hussain
Music Director, Salzburger Landestheater
Succeeded by
Adrian Kelly