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Photo by Benjamin Ealovega
Photo by Benjamin Ealovega

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Mirga conducts the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

We are proud to announce that Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, or simply ”Mirga” to enthusiastic audiences all around, will conduct the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time. The concert is livestreamed for free from Konserthuset Stockholm on Thursday February 25 (no login required).

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla seemed to have come from nowhere when she had her overnight breakthrough five years ago. After only two productions with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, she was named its new chief conductor in 2016, thereby joining a glorious list of conductors in this capacity: Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons. 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 Gramophone 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 won the Chopin competition in Warzaw. Together with Mirga, 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.

Link to concert and livestream

Thursday 25 February
Livestream at 12.15 CET. Watch again from 19.00 CET.

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conductor
Eric Lu piano

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Dorothy Howell: Lamia
Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Sinfonietta No. 1

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The weekly livestreams with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra continue throughout the spring season of 2021 – always available for free on Konserthuset Play, all over the world and with no login required. The orchestra was founded in 1902 and its chief conductor since 2008 is Sakari Oramo.

KonserthusetPlay.se is the orchestra’s online concert hall. Launched in 2013 it offers a large selection of filmed performances with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, available for free streaming anywhere in the world. ”... an invigorating reminder of what a truly world-class band this is ...” (The Guardian, April 2020)


Konserthuset Play – Konserthusets filmkanal (länk öppnas i nytt fönster)

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Tony Lundman

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