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A conductor observed, Sheffield, 16 March 2018 -CBSO/MGT

Last Friday night the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra were in Sheffield for a concert in the City Hall.  They brought with them Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist and conductor Mirga Gražinyté Tyla, their Music Director.

I have over the nearly 40 years watched a lot of conductors and watched how orchestras react to them. I wanted to see how this conductor got this orchestra to play out of their skins in Beethoven 5 at last year's Proms: without seeing them I was really impressed as I wrote here.  Having seen it now, I'd say her style is unique.  It looks simple but it's very subtle and spare, until the orchestra needs something, and at that point she can supercharge their response.

I'd say Ms Gražinyté-Tyla has a very keen sense of the shape of the melody, her hands and arms carve out the lines sometimes long legato and other times shorter stabbing and punchier movements.  Sometimes she uses a baton but to broadly the same effect.  She indicates where she wants chang…

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