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Mirga conducts

Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, or simply ”Mirga”, leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in a long awaited guest performance! Music by Beethoven, Howell and Weinberg. Award-winning Eric Lu is the piano soloist.

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla seemed to have come from nowhere when she had her overnight breathrough five years ago. After only two productions with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, she was named its new chief conductor in 2016. Lithuanian Mirga was 30 years old back then. Before that, she had worked as a Kapellmeister in theatres and smaller orchestras in Germany and Austria. Still under the radar of audiences and the music business alike, she was a fellow alongside Gustavo Dudamel at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The rest is history.

Today, Mirga is invited to the top orchestras around the world, and her performances are described as electrifying. But she rarely accepts invitations as a guest conductor. Now she conducts the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time, in music by for instance Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–96), the Polish-Sovietic composer that only recently has been rediscovered. In fact, his music was the first that Mirga chose to record for the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, that soon signed a long-term contract with her (”A magical debut” the Los Angeles Times wrote, ”Recording of the Year”, according to Grammophone Magazine). 

The Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu (born in 1997) won first prize in the prestigeous Leeds Piano Competition in 2018, and already in 2015, when he was only 17, he got high marks in the Chopin competition in Warzaw. Eric Lu now makes his debut at Konserthuset Stockholm in Beethoven’s virtuoso Piano Concerto No. 4. In this music, Beethoven’s efforts to foster a new kind of interaction between the piano and orchestra is evident. 

Mirga also conducts music by the English composer Dorothy Howell (1898–1982). Howell had her breakthrough in 1919 with Lamia, the symphonic poem performed here. ”Who is this musical genious?”, surprised English critics asked themselves after the first performance. The music was inspired by a poem by Keats, with the same title. With her skillfulness with the orchestra she was soon nicknamed the ”English Strauss”. Once famed, she is now largely forgotten, but maybe that is about to change.

Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH.
Listen to Eric Lu’s Album Chopin, Brahms, Schumann here 

  • The music

  • Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4
  • Intermission: a conversation with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
  • Dorothy Howell Lamia
  • Mieczyslaw Weinberg Sinfonietta No. 1
  • Participants

  • Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conductor
  • Eric Lu piano
  • From a livestream 25 February 2021.
  • The video is approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
  • The concert can be seen until 24 March 2021.

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