Thierry Fischer’s contract as Music Director at Utah Symphony extended to summer 2022
Utah Symphony announced today the extension of Thierry Fischer’s contract as Music Director until summer 2022, 11 years since he first took up the position.
During the first six years of his tenure thus far, highlights have included: the orchestra’s first concert at Carnegie Hall in 40 years, CD recordings of Mahler and contemporary repertoire on Reference Records; a deal with Hyperion for the complete Saint-Saens Symphonies going foward; a ground-breaking tour of Utah’s national parks followed by an award-winning documentary; and just last month an outreach initiative in Haiti (the first of its kind).
A hallmark of Fischer’s tenure has been the performance of complete symphonic cycles including Beethoven (2011/12), Mendelssohn (2012/13), and Nielsen (2013/14). In 2014/15, Fischer began a two-season Mahler symphony cycle in honour of the Utah Symphony’s former music director Maurice Abravanel, under whose baton the orchestra recorded the first complete cycle by an American orchestra of all nine Mahler symphonies. He has also programmed a multi-season exploration of the works of Stravinsky, which included Fischer’s Utah Opera debut conducting The Rake’s Progress, and during the 2016/17 season three full composer cycles featuring all five Beethoven piano concertos, all four Brahms symphonies, and all four Ives symphonies. Under Fischer’s guidance, the Utah Symphony has developed a commissioning programme of contemporary works, including works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, Augusta Read Thomas, Simon Holt and Michael Jarrell.
In addition to extending his contract with the Utah Symphony, Mr. Fischer remains Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he began his tenure in March 2017.
Thierry Fischer returns to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Thierry Fischer returns to Florence this month for a symphonic concert with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on 21 May 2017. Since making his debut stepping in for Vladimir Jurowski, Fischer has received invitations to conduct Maggio Musicale every season, this time conducting a program of Ives, Brahms and Berlioz.
Fischer then conducts the Utah Symphony in their final concerts of the season, performing Stravinsky Rite of Spring alongside Tchaikovsky Souvenir d'un lieu cher and Varèse Amériques. Fischer and the Utah Symphony have celebrated another fantastically successful season, with highlights including a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle with soloists including Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, a live recording of works by Prokofiev to be released in 2017, the US premiere of Michael Jarrell’s oboe concerto with Francois Leleux, and complete performances of Ives and Brahms symphonies.
Elsewhere this month, Fischer also conducts the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on 12 and 13 May 2017 at the Seoul Arts Center. He leads a programme of Dutilleux Timbres, espace, movement, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, with soloist Bertrand Chamayou.
Thierry Fischer conducts French programme for next concerts as Principal Guest Conductor of Seoul Philharmonic
Thierry Fischer, the Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, travels to Seoul for the third time this year to conduct the orchestra in an all-French programme at the Seoul Arts Center on 12 and 13 May 2017. Fischer conducts Dutilleux Timbres, espace, movement, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with soloist Bertrand Chamayou.
Fischer was announced as the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor in September 2016 and conducted his first concerts in his new position in March this year. For his inaugural concerts, he conducted a diverse programme of Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 with Truls Mørk, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Haydn Symphony No.1. He also conducted the orchestra and soloist Christel Lee at the Seoul Arts Center Orchestra Festival in April.
See an exclusive documentary featuring Fischer preparing for his inaugural concerts with the Seoul Philharmonic below:
Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony launch Haitian National Orchestral Institute with BLUME Haiti
Thierry Fischer and 14 musicians from the Utah Symphony travel to Jacmel, the cultural capital of Haiti, on 28 March 2017 to launch the first Haitian National Orchestral Institute at the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School with the support of BLUME Haiti.
Fischer joins Haitian-born conductor Canes Nicolas and 100 young Haitian musicians from all around the country to create the new institute, which will give Haitian teachers and students the opportunity to work closely with musicians from a top US orchestra.
Thierry Fischer gives first concerts as Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic
Thierry Fischer begins his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic this month, conducting two concerts at Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul on 9 and 10 March 2017. He is joined for the performances by Truls Mørk, who performs Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1. Brahms Symphony No.1 and Haydn Symphony No.1 complete the programme, which is intended to showcase the flexibility of the orchestra.
Later in the month, Fischer returns to the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, his first return since his debut last season. The programme pairs Debussy La Mer with Wim Henderickx Aquarius’ Dream. Other concerts include two performances with the Basque National Orchestra at the Musika Musica Festival in Bilbao.
Thierry Fischer conducts Utah Symphony in US premiere of Michael Jarrell Oboe Concert
Thierry Fischer and his Utah Symphony are joined by oboist François Leleux at Salt Lake City's Abravanel Hall on 24 February 2017 for the US premiere of Michael Jarrell’s new oboe concerto. The concerto, which was composed for Leleux, is part of a programme also featuring Hummel Introduction, Theme and Variations and Brahms Symphony No.4. Fischer, Leleux and the Utah Symphony repeat the programme the following night.
Earlier in the month, Fischer and the orchestra are joined by soloists Joélle Harvey, Sarah Coit, Benjamin Butterfield and Derrick Parker for two performances of Mozart Requiem on 17 and 18 February, which is performed alongside Ives Symphony No.4.
Narek Hakhnazaryan makes debut with the Utah Symphony conducted by Thierry Fischer
Narek Hakhnazaryan travels to Salt Lake City this month to make his debut with the Utah Symphony Orchestra under Thierry Fischer in three performances on 2, 3 and 4 February 2017. Hakhnazaryan joins the orchestra to perform Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1.
"Hakhnazaryan had eloquent control of his bow arm and shaded the tones with endless variety. The pitch was as pure as ice water no matter how daring the leaps... He gambolled through the music like a young colt, dazzling with his left-hand agility on the fingerboard as well as his dexterity with the bow."
South China Morning Post
Elsewhere in February, Hakhnazaryan’s performances include a return to the Kansas City Symphony forSaint-Saëns Cello Concert No.1 with Jun Maerkl, and his debut with the orchestra of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera also with Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 conducted by Ingo Metzmacher on 17 February.
Alisa Kolosova makes US concert debut in Alexander Nevsky with Thierry Fischer & the Utah Symphony Orchestra
Alisa Kolosova travels to the United States this month to make her US concert debut alongside Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony Orchestra on 18 November 2016. Kolosova joins the orchestra for Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky. She recently performed Verdi Requiem at the BBC Proms, with Marin Alsop conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Kolosova was praised for her “rich mezzo” and “the fluid shapeliness of her phrasing” (Opera Today).
Alisa Kolosova's highlights for the rest of the season include her house debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Olga in Eugene Onegin.
Thierry Fischer makes his Brazillian debut with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Thierry Fischer makes his Brazilian debut this month, conducting the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra in four concerts on 27, 28, 29 October in Sao Paolo and 30 October in Rio de Janeiro. He conducts the orchestra in a programme of Berlioz Le Roi Lear and Les nuits d'été with soprano Lina Mendes and Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’.
Fischer’s first appearance in Brazil follows his recent successful debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, where he stepped in last minute for Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The performance received great critical acclaim, with the New York Times writing “The stylish conductor Thierry Fischer opened the concert with Haydn’s crackling Symphony No. 59 in A ('Fire') and ended with a fleet, lean account of Mozart’s darkly intense Symphony No. 40 in G minor."
Fischer’s Brazilian debut expands the conductor’s worldwide engagements. His titled positions include Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Honorary Guest Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic, and newly-appointed Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic. Upcoming performances include the London Sinfonietta, the Basque National Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
Thierry Fischer appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
It was announced on 22 September 2016 that Thierry Fischer will become Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra starting January 2017 for an initial three years, and running concurrently with his ongoing Music Directorship of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He will visit Seoul at least four times a season to conduct the orchestra, both in subscription and in their Ars Nova contemporary music series, and will play an important role in the artistic planning. His team includes Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Unsuk Chin the long-standing Composer in Residence, and Markus Stenz the new Conductor in Residence.
Both Fischer and Stenz were appointed on the recommendation of a committee whose members included the Seoul Philharmonic's Chief Executive, musicians from within and outside of the orchestra, a music critic, a conductor and a music manager.
In his first season in Seoul Fischer will conduct a wide range of repertoire including works by Haydn, Brahms, Berlioz, Mahler, Shostakovich, Ravel, Berg, Dutilleux and a newly commissioned work by Anders Hillborg, collaborating with soloists including Truls Mørk, Bertrand Chamayou and Viviane Hagner. He will also conduct Bruckner’s Te Deum and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the season’s closing concert.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Asia’s longest-established orchestras, with a history dating back to 1948. Under the 10 year leadership of former Music Director Myung-Whun Chung it has gained an international reputation for quality, touring to Disney Hall, Beijing NCPA, Grafenegg Festival and BBC Proms, and making award-winning recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. Maestro Chung returned to conduct the orchestra this summer to conduct a major new commission by Unsuk Chin at the inaugural concert in the new Lotte Hall in Seoul, which (together with the Seoul Arts Centre) will now host their main subscription concerts.
Thierry Fischer took his Utah Symphony to Carnegie Hall for their first visit in 40 years in April: “the inspired players excelled in exciting, colourful and fervent performances” (New York Times). He returned to New York in July, this time for his debut with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. This summer he also conducted at Maggio Musicale Firenze and toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to France, Switzerland and Italy. Earlier in the season he led the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall.
Thierry Fischer conducts Emmanuel Ax in Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Utah Symphony
Thierry Fischer opens Utah Symphony’s new season with a series of dynamic programmes this month, including two concerts on 16 and 17 September 2016 with Emanuel Ax. Fischer conducts Ax and the Utah Symphony in a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', part of a programme that also includes Beethoven Fidelio: Overture and Brahms Symphony No.1. Earlier in September Fischer opens the Utah Symphony season with two concerts with Jonathan Biss, who joins the orchestra for Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1. Click here to view the Utah Symphony’s 16/17 season in full.
Fischer then travels to Lugano to conduct Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana on 23 September, as part of Francesco Piemontesi’s Settimane Musicali Ascona Festival. Fischer, who has been praised as "a Mahler interpreter of some stature", leads the orchestra in a programme of Mahler, Beethoven and Shostakovich, with soloist Alina Ibragimova.
"A brilliant display of musicianship": Thierry Fischer triumphs in his Mostly Mozart Festival debut
Thierry Fischer made his debut at Mostly Mozart Festival with a triumphant performance at New York's Lincoln Centre this week, leading the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in two concerts on 2 and 3 August 2016. Fischer, stepping in for Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conducted a programme of Haydn Symphony No.59, Mozart Symphony No.40 and Piano Concerto No.25, featuring soloist Martin Helmchen.
“The stylish conductor Thierry Fischer opened the concert with Haydn’s crackling Symphony No. 59 in A ('Fire') and ended with a fleet, lean account of Mozart’s darkly intense Symphony No. 40 in G minor."
New York Times, August 2016
“Fischer extracted a surprising range of colors from the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra..[and] took nothing for granted. In Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 Fischer masterfully encourage[ed] the orchestra in light and dark episodes. After the light and shade of the concerto, it was a tribute to Fischer that Mozart’s evergreen Symphony No. 40 proved as engaging as it was. Fischer took the opening rivulets seriously, making them fresh and slightly mysterious…lifted the Menuetto up from potential torpor...in the finale, when the familiar motif sneaks in at every opportunity, Fischer found genial humor and made each reappearance count.”
New York Classical Review, August 2016
"Mr. Fischer and Mr. Helmchen brought the finale home in a brilliant display of musicianship, as the Rondo (based on a thematic idea from the opera Idomeneo) turned into a serious minor mode before bursting out in bright and exuberant C Major."
Paperblog, August 2016
Thierry Fischer makes his debut at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival
Thierry Fischer makes his Mostly Mozart Festival debut in New York on 2 August 2016, stepping in for Andrés Orozco-Estrada for two concerts in the David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. On 2 and 3 August, Fischer will conduct a programme of Haydn Symphony No.59, Mozart Symphony No.40 and Piano Concerto No.25, featuring soloist Martin Helmchen.
Fischer returns to New York after a season highlight concert with the Utah Symphony in Carnegie Hall in April 2016, where he conducted the New York premiere of Andrew Norman’s Switch, joined by percussionist Colin Currie.
The New York Times reported “the inspired players excelled in an ambitious program …The concert began with a fresh, lively account of Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 .. the orchestra played two demanding early 20th-century works after intermission: selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin. Both received exciting, colorful and fervent performances”.
Thierry Fischer steps in for Vladimir Jurowski to make debut with Maggio Musicale chorus & orchestra
Thierry Fischer makes his debut with the Maggio Musicale chorus and orchestra in Florence at the Opera di Firenze on 16 May 2016, replacing Vladimir Jurowski. Fischer conducts a programme of Mozart Symphony No.38 in D 'Prague' and Ave Verum Corpus, and Brahms Das Schicksalslied and Symphony No.2 in A major.
The concert in Florence comes soon after Fischer replaced Jurowski on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe earlier in May, which, according to the Neue Zuericher Zeitung, was “a triumph for soloist, orchestra and conductor... in Beethoven 7 the COE showed itself to be mercurial and willing to take risks. Thierry Fischer revealed every facet of the work's dance-like elements, heightening the tension to obsession by the end of the work.”
Thierry Fischer steps in to conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Europe's tour
Fresh from conducting the Utah Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Thierry Fischer replaces Vladimir Jurowski at very short notice this week, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on a six-concert tour starting on Friday. The tour takes in Bergamo, Brescia, Bologna, Zurich, Bordeaux and Toulouse; the programmes include Weinberg’s rarely-heard Chamber Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.7, Mozart Symphony No.38, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2 with Patricia Kopatchinskaya.
It was the COE who gave Fischer his very first professional conducting experience twenty years ago, when as Principal Flute he stepped into the breach to replace an ailing maestro; and so it is with great pleasure that he returns to the COE to wield the baton again.
Meanwhile, the New York Times wrote of his Carnegie Hall concert last Friday:
"The inspired players excelled in an ambitious program …The concert began with a fresh, lively account of Haydn’s Symphony No.96 .. the orchestra played two demanding early 20th-century works after intermission: selections from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and Bartok’s Suite from “The Miraculous Mandarin.” Both received exciting, colorful and fervent performances”.
Colin Currie & Thierry Fischer perform with Utah Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
Colin Currie joins Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony Orchestra on 29 April 2016 in their return to Carnegie Hall for the Utah Symphony’s 75th anniversary celebrations.
The programme features Haydn Symphony No. 96 “The Miracle”, Bartók Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin and a performance of selections from Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet. Currie performs the New York premiere of Andrew Norman Switch, which was commissioned especially for Utah’s anniversary and premiered in November 2015, followed by the UK premiere in November 2015 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Utah Symphony Orchestra’s milestone is being marked over the course of the 2015-16 season. Highlights included a Mahler symphonic cycle and collaboration with Utah Opera and Ballet West. Watch a film about the World Premiere of Switch by Andrew Norman performed by Utah Symphony and Colin Currie conducted by Thierry Fischer here.
Thierry Fischer & Louis Schwizgebel perform with the Utah Symphony
Thierry Fischer and Louis Schwizgebel reunite this month for two concerts with the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall on 26 and 27 February 2016. The pair previously collaborated on Schwizgebel's recording of Beethoven Piano Concertos, released in 2014.
Fischer leads the Utah Symphony in a dance-themed programme featuring Gottschalk, Debussy and Gershwin’s celebrated ballet suite from An American in Paris. Schwizgebel joins the orchestra to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G major. The concerts mark Schwizgebel's debut with the orchestra, and come soon after his Swedish recital debut at Stockholm Concert Hall.
Thierry Fischer makes London Philharmonic Orchestra concert debut at Royal Festival Hall
Thierry Fischer conducts the London Philharmonic for the first time in concert on 23 October 2015 at the Royal Festival Hall. Fischer and the orchestra perform Bizet’s Symphony in C and Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony and are joined by Benjamin Grosvener for Ravel Piano Concerto in G major. This concert follows a very successful first collaboration last season, when Fischer conducted the LPO in recording sessions for a Beethoven concerto CD with Louis Schwizgebel, released on Aparte in April. Fischer’s recently performed in London at the 2015 BBC Proms, when he conducted a Boulez programme with the London Sinfonietta:
“... an iridescent kaleidoscope, brilliantly dispatched"
Times, August 2015
On 18 October he conducts Tristan Murail’s Contes Cruels and Bartok’s Divertimento with the Munich Chamber Orchestra in Budapest.
Thierry Fischer launches Utah Symphony Orchestra season with Beethoven Symphony Festival
Following a highly-successful 14/15 season, Music Director Thierry Fischer returns to Utah on 11 September 2015 to launch the Utah Symphony Orchestra’s 75th anniversary season with a two-week Beethoven Symphony Festival. Fischer leads the orchestra in all nine Beethoven symphonies on 11, 12, 18 and 19 September at Abravanel Hall.
Fischer’s previous performances of Beethoven symphonies with the orchestra have garnered critical acclaim:
"Seldom has an early work by Beethoven been executed better than it was Friday. The orchestra played with crisp articulation and finely honed phrasings, and Fischer once again elicited delightfully nuanced playing from his ensemble." Reichel Recommends
Other highlights of the upcoming 15/16 season include the complete Mahler symphonies in concert and the world premiere of a new commission by Nico Muhly. This will be the fifth commission or world premiere during Fischer's tenure as Music Director, as he has put commissioning new works by contemporary composers at the centre of his artistic vision.
Thierry Fischer returns to BBC Proms with London Sinfonietta for ‘Boulez at 90’
Thierry Fischer returns to the BBC Proms on 29 August 2015 to conduct London Sinfonietta at Cadogan Hall in a programme of contemporary music celebrating Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday. Fischer a programme that features three Boulez works alongside Helen Grime A Cold Spring and the UK premiere of Christian Mason Open to Infinity: A Grain of Sand.
Last month Fischer received critical acclaim for his performances of Schoenberg Transfigured Night and Brahms German Requiem at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago:
“Despite amplification, Fischer's performance [of Schoenberg Transfigured Night] had some of the most expressive string sound of the season, both delicate and passionate. The music director of the Utah Symphony took his time with the score, allowing its spiritual atmosphere to unfold naturally, without gloss or impatient nudging. It was an understanding performance that went beyond intellectualism and solid preparation.”
Chicago Tribune, July 2015
Thierry Fischer returns to Grant Park Music Festival Chicago
Thierry Fischer travels to Chicago this month for a week long residency at the Grant Park Music Festival, where he will conduct three concerts on 15, 17 and 18 July 2015. Fischer leads the Grant Park Orchestra in a programme of Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements, Prokofiev Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, Schoenberg Transfigured Night and Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem.
Fischer last conducted the Grant Park Orchestra in July 2013 to great critical acclaim:
“He conducts with both clarity and passion…. His connection with the players was clearly two-way….. Fischer sold this oft-played piece better than I have ever heard the work live. Fischer believes in this work in the way that Daniel Barenboim believes in Wagner… Utah is lucky to have this conductor, and several Grant Park players who are members of that ensemble can you tell you so. The players honored him with his own ovation…Let’s hope he’s back.“
Chicago Sun Times, July 2013
Thierry Fischer conducts The Rake’s Progress at Utah Opera
Thierry Fischer conducts Utah Opera in Roy Rallo’s production of The Rake's Progress opening on 9 May. The production stars Norman Reinhardt as Tom Rakewell and also features set designs by David Hockney. Fischer has previously conducted the opera in Rotterdam, and has also directed Carmen in Fribourg and for Nederlandse Reisopera.
Later in the month Fischer and the Utah Symphony continue their Mahler cycle with Symphony No.4 in two concerts at Abravanel Hall on 22 and 23 May. The programme also features Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Veronika Eberle.
On 29 May, Fischer appears at of the International Contemporary Music Festival ENSEMS at the Palau Des Arts in Valencia, his first appearance at a major Spanish contemporary music festival. Fischer conducts the Orquesta de la Comunidad Valenciana in a programme which includes works by Elliot Carter and Michael Jarrell, and gives the Spanish premiere of Augusta Read Thomas' Eos, a piece that he premiered in Utah earlier this year.
"Wonderfully assured": praise for Thierry Fischer's Boulez concert with BBCSO
Theirry Fischer’s jump-in with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in its Boulez celebration on 21 March was a great success, and well received by the critics:
"Pli selon pli is still a major undertaking for any conductor and orchestra. Fischer only took over the concert at a few days notice, when François-Xavier Roth had to withdraw, but no one would have guessed; his performance was wonderfully assured...Fischer’s performance revelled in the energy and textural richness of the Notations, capturing their multilayered elaborations, echoes and reflections…Pli selon pli was equally detailed, and just as viscerally exciting...That movement [Tombeau] which steadily accelerates, accumulating in weight and intensity, was paced perfectly by Fischer"
Guardian, March 2015
"If the protracted scale of Pli selon Pli is a challenge for audience and performers alike, the BBCSO under the impressive direction of Thierry Fischer were fully up to it, as they were in five of the Notations developed for orchestra by Boulez from the original set of 12 for solo piano. Here Fischer and his forces captured the shimmering play of colour as well as the intellectual conviction that characterise these more succinct utterances."
Evening Standard, March 2015
"The overall impression is of poet and composer struggling to affirm the human condition — any condition — in the face of implacable death and unfeeling nature. Fischer conducted Pli selon Pli impeccably, the BBC SO produced some extraordinary cascades of sound"
Times, March 2015
"Pli selon Pli seduces the ear with its sensual array of sounds, among them purring woodwind, softly spoken xylorimba and a luminous, solitary voice…dotted on a vast canvas like twinkling stars in a galaxy. All of which was eloquently conveyed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Thierry Fischer"
Financial Times, March 2015
"Conductor Thierry Fischer (replacing François-Xavier Roth) clearly knows Notations well, and he marshalled the large forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra into a disciplined army of players, peeling away Boulez’s multiple layers of harmony and tonal complexity…Pli selon Pli is a difficult work to pull off, and by and large Thierry Fischer and the BBC SO succeeded. Fischer’s direction was controlled yet accommodating, and the BBC SO players responded with musicianship of the highest order."
Music OMH, March 2015
Thierry Fischer steps in to conduct BBC Symphony Orchestra’s 'Boulez at 90' concert
Thierry Fischer steps in at a few days’ notice to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s 'Boulez at 90' concert at the Barbican Hall on 21 March, the main focus of a whole weekend of Boulez. He will conduct the orchestral version of Notations (which he last conducted in January 2013 in Geneva and Lausanne), and mammoth Pli selon Pli, Boulez's longest work.
Fischer is a devotee of Boulez’s music, and is delighted to be returning to the BBC Symphony for this demanding but hugely inspiring programme. His last visit to the BBC Symphony was last season, when he impressed with his grasp of another huge work, Messiaen’s Eclairs sur l’au-dela:
“As authoritative and lucid as anyone could want”
Guardian, March 2014
“Such ease and clarity of gesture“
Times, March 2014
Listen live to the concert on BBC Radio 3 at 7.30pm on 21 March, or listen on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.
Thierry Fischer returns to Swedish Chamber Orchestra & Baiba Skride
Thierry Fischer returns to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on 12 March to re-join Baiba Skride for the Frank Martin Violin Concerto. The two musicians recorded the piece together for Orfeo Records whilst Fischer was Principal Conductor at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Fischer follows this with a performance of Beethoven Symphony No.7.
Then on 28 March, he conduct a very different programme, this time at London’s Southbank Centre with the London Sinfonietta – they will perform a programme of works by Friedrich Haas, Tristan Murail, Gyorgy Ligeti and Giacinto Scelsi.
Thierry Fischer conducts Augusta Read Thomas world premiere with Utah Symphony Orchestra
Thierry Fischer conducts the world premiere of a new work by Augusta Read Thomas, Eos (Goddess of the dawn), on 20 and 21 February. The piece is commissioned and performed by the Utah Symphony.
Fischer other concerts with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, where he holds the position of Music Director, during February include Mahler Symphony No.3 on 6 and 7 February. The concerts are part of Fischer and the orchestra’s acclaimed Mahler cycle:
“Fischer didn’t shy from the extremes of dynamics, mood and tone, and the result was an edge-of-the-seat reading filled with indelible moments.”
Salt Lake Tribune, November 2014 (Mahler Symphony No.2)
Thierry Fischer makes his debut with Rotterdam Philharmonic at De Doelen
Thierry Fischer makes his Rotterdam Philharmonic debut 8, 10 and 11 January at De Doelen. The programme is a mix of dances by Wolfgang Rihm, Borodin, Berlioz and Brahms alongside Johann Strauss, and features Shostakovich’s Festival Overture and his Jazz Suite.
Then on 18 January Fischer makes his Salzburg Mozarteumorchester debut conducting Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and Wagner Wesendoncklieder with Angelika Kirschlager in the Grosses Festspielhaus.
Thierry Fischer makes his debut with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Thierry Fischer makes his debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra this week, conducting Berlioz Roméo et Juliette as a last-minute replacement for Robin Ticciati. The performance features soloists Ben Johnson and Renata Pokupić.
Fischer has extensive experience of conducting works by Berlioz (including Damnation de Faust and Grande Messe des Morts), and knows Roméo et Juliette intimately. Earlier this year he conducted extracts from the work with the Detroit Symphony, Pacific Symphony and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as with the Utah Symphony:
Detroit Symphony Orchestra: “Fischer and the DSO offered a polished and focused performance that captured the drama, energy and nuance”
Detroit Free Press
Pacific Symphony: “He took particular care with Berlioz’s textures and rhythms, making sure we could hear all the strange intricacies in them…The whole evening Fischer had the strings playing with a more slender and shiny sound, the brass contained (but bright rather than behemoth when called upon), the woodwinds nicely forward in the sound picture.”
Orange County Register
Utah Symphony: “Unquestionably the best performance of a large choral/orchestral work by the orchestra in a very long time. Fischer is a remarkable exponent of the French composer’s music. He was in charge of the score from the opening measures. He knew exactly what he wanted and he elicited a superbly crafted reading from his forces that was powerful and emotionally charged.”
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande: ”his clear, supple, trenchant, sensual and evocative gestures…irrepressible and intrepid vitality…his hunger for the music, heady enjoyment of the harmonic and melodic progressions, and the pleasure he takes in the different sonorities.”
Le Temps de Geneve
Last season Fischer made his debut with the other major Norwegian orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, in Poulenc, Saint-Saens, Milhaud and Honegger.
Thierry Fischer conducts Mahler 'Resurrection' Symphony with Utah Symphony
Thierry Fischer conducts Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony with the Utah Symphony in two concerts at Abravanel Hall on 14 and 15 November. Fischer's tenure as Chief Conductor of the orchestra has so far been a great success with the public and critics alike. The concerts are part of Fischer's ongoing Mahler cycle which began earlier this season with Symphony No.1. Fischer and the orchestra have subsequently recorded the symphony for commercial release on Reference Records.
"Fischer elicited wonderfully expressive playing from his strings. It was an atmospheric and nuanced reading... His interpretation was subtle and beautifully expressed.
Fischer and his orchestra complemented Bronfman's perceptive playing magnificently. It was as if soloist, conductor and orchestra were one; it was the kind of musical collaboration one always dreams of finding but so seldom does. Quite honestly this was a match made in heaven."
Reichel Recommends, September 2014
Last month, Fischer made his Boston Symphony debut to great acclaim:
"Fischer led a fluid reading of this sinuous score... He showed and instinctual feel for the flow of linked movements, and more broadly, for this score's odd musical syntax... the BSO played with a precision and commitment that made you wish that it tackled more Nielsen."
"Nielsen's exuberant Symphony No.4 showcased the bold interpretive powers of the evening's conductor, Thierry Fischer. With deliberate gestures and a clear sense of direction, Fischer delivered the full Nielsen, pushing the tempo for energetic readings of the outer movements but laying back to let the chamber-music-like textures of the second flow like gentle waves..."
Boston Classical Review
"These concerts mark an auspicious debut for the BSO's newest guest conductor. I look forward to his return, hopefully before too long."
Critics applauded Thierry Fischer’s Boston Symphony Orchestra debut
Critics applauded Thierry Fischer’s Boston Symphony Orchestra debut last week (18 October), when he conducted Nielsen Symphony No.4 and Brahms Piano Concerto in D minor with soloist Rudolf Buchbinder:
"Fischer led a fluid reading of this sinuous score...He showed an instinctual feel for the flow of linked movements, and more broadly, for this score’s odd musical syntax, its pairing of strangeness and inexorability.... the BSO played with a precision and commitment that made you wish it tackled more Nielsen."
"Fischer admirably balanced yet upheld the orchestral forces in [the Brahms concerto]. He also commanded glowing string sonority, here and in the other movements, and brought the movement to a taut and powerful close...He exercised great command of dynamic and tempo contrasts [in the Nielsen], maintaining excellent tension and a strong sense of motivic interplay....It was an expert, skillful performance."
Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Nielsen’s exuberant Symphony No.4 showcased the bold interpretive powers of the evening’s conductor, Thierry Fischer. With deliberate gestures and a clear sense of direction, Fischer delivered the full Nielsen, pushing the tempo for energetic readings of the outer movements but laying back to let the chamber-music-like textures of the second flow like gentle waves....
Throughout [the Brahms] Fischer wove a silky bed of orchestral accompaniment, coaxing each phrase with the same loving care rendered by the pianist."
Boston Classical Review
In November, Fischer returns to the Utah Symphony for Mahler’s 'Resurrection' Symphony. This is fitting for an orchestra which he is gradually bringing back to the glory days of former Chief Conductor Maurice Abravanel, under whose baton in the 60s and 70s the Utah Symphony was the first orchestra in the USA to record a complete Mahler cycle. Fischer’s own Mahler cycle in concert at the Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City kicked off earlier this season with Symphony No.1, which the orchestra then recorded for commercial release on Reference Records.
Thierry Fischer’s contract as Music Director at Utah Symphony extended to 10 years until August 2019
The Utah Symphony has today announced an extension of Music Director Thierry Fischer’s contract, confirming that he will remain with the orchestra until August 2019.
During the first 5 years of his tenure, Fischer has revitalized the music-making, enthralling players and audiences by his vibrancy, commitment and energy. He has attracted nearly 30 leading young musicians to join the orchestra, and top soloists and conductors to come to Utah; he has refreshed the programming, introducing symphonic cycles (Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Nielsen), and developing an ongoing commissioning programme of works from composers such as Michael Jarrell, Simon Holt, Augusta Read Thomas and Andrew Norman. He has also drawn consistently full houses, and galvanised community support, with a commitment to ambitious plans in the next five years.
In 2014/15 Maestro Fischer begins a two-season Mahler symphony cycle in honour of the Utah Symphony’s former music director Maurice Abravanel, under whose baton the orchestra was the first orchestra ever to record all nine Mahler symphonies. He has also programmed a multi-season exploration of the works of Stravinsky. To mark the orchestra’s 75th anniversary year in 2016, Fischer and the Utah Symphony will release commercial recordings and will tour nationally and internationally to major venues.
“Thierry Fischer led the orchestra in a riveting performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.5. As he did when conducting Mahler’s Symphony No.4 a couple of years ago, Fischer had the crowd hanging on every note. His upcoming Mahler cycle promises to be monumental”
Salt Lake Tribune, April 2014
“Utah is lucky to have this conductor”
Chicago Sun Times, July 2013
Thierry Fischer and BBC National Orchestra of Wales tour Northern Italy
Following their successful seven concert tour of Spain last season, Thierry Fischer and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will travel to Italy to perform in three concerts in Modena, Bergamo and Brescia in May. Pianist Nicholas Angelich and harpist Catrin Finch will join the Orchestra to perform Saint Saëns Piano Concerto No.5 and Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea II respectively, while music by Britten and Elgar complete the programme.
The Orchestra has a busy summer ahead; future plans include engagements at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with flautist Emmanuel Pahud and pianist Llŷr Williams as part of the Robeco series.