Iván Fischer


Budapest (Photo credit: Weijie~)

Iván Fischer (born 20 January 1951) is a Hungarian conductor and composer. Born in Budapest into a Jewish musical family, Fischer initially studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest. He moved later to Vienna to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the University of Music and Performing Arts, where he also studied cello and early music, studying and working as assistant to Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

In 1976, Fischer won the Rupert Foundation conducting competition in London. He began thereafter to guest-conduct such British orchestras as the BBC Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he conducted a world tour in 1982. His US conducting debut was with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1983.Fischer returned to Hungary in 1983 to found the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO), which initially was intended for a limited number of concerts a year on a part-time basis. The BFO became a permanent institution in 1992, with a schedule of about 30 weeks of performing a year. With the BFO, he has incorporated unorthodox ideas into practice, including allowing individual symphony musicians to contribute to concert programming, as in the „cocoa-concerts“ for young children. Other series include the Titok-koncert („bag of surprise“) concert series where the programme is not announced, „one forint concerts“ where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts in Budapest attracting tens of thousands of people, as well as concert opera performances. Fischer has founded several festivals, including a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new music works. In addition, there is an annual competition from within the orchestra for soloist opportunities in concert.[1] Fischer and the BFO have recorded commercially for Philips Classics and Channel Classics Records.


Budapest (Photo credit: Metro Centric)

In the USA, Fischer held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for seven years. In 2006, he became Principal Guest Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington. In April 2007, Fischer was named the principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), after Leonard Slatkin stepped down as music director in 2008.[2] He held the title for 2 years.

Fischer was Music Director at Kent Opera in the UK from 1984-89.,[3] He was Music Director of the Opéra National de Lyon from 2000 to 2003. The Lyon production of Ariadne auf Naxos received the prize of ‘best regional opera production of the year’ given by the Association of French Music Critics. Other work in opera as a guest conductor has included a Mozart cycle in the Vienna State Opera, and productions in Zurich, London, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm and Budapest. He debuted in 2006 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in a new production of Così fan tutte:

Estonia Theatre in Tallinn, home of the Estoni...

Estonia Theatre in Tallinn, home of the Estonian National Opera and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Français : Le Théâtre National de Tallinn, en Estonie, abrite L’opéra National Estonien et l’Orchestre Symphonique National d’Estonie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2006, Fischer was named Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In February 2011, he was named Music Director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and Principal Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, effective with the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.[4]

Fischer’s compositions are usually written for intimate groups of human voices and instruments. His „Spinoza-Vertalingen“ for Soprano and chamber emsemble composed on a 17th century Dutch translation of Spinoza’s text has been performed first in the Netherlands, then in Hungary. For women’s choir, he composed „Zigeunerlied“ (Goethe), „La Malinconia“ (Umberto Saba), „29. Canzone di Petrarca“, „Sait gesund“ with a Yiddish text and „A nay kleyd“ (Rokhl Korn). The last two were commissioned by the Dutch memorial day (Dodenherdenking) and broadcast on Dutch National TV. In 2011 he composed „de slome slak“ (Joke van Leeuwen) for children’s choir, commissioned by the Koorbiennale in Holland and Festival Hymn 2011 commissioned by Young Euro Classic in Berlin. His most frequently performed work is „Eine Deutsch-Jiddische Kantate“, which has been performed in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, USA and Switzerland.

Kennedy Center Hall of Nations

Kennedy Center Hall of Nations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fischer signed an exclusive recording contract with Philips Classics in 1995 and his Bartók and Liszt recordings with the Budapest Festival Orchestra have won a Gramophone Award, Diapason d’Or de l’Annee, four Cles de Telerama, the Arte, MUM[disambiguation needed] and Erasmus prizes. Other Philips recordings include works by Kodály, Dvořák and Fischer’s own orchestration of Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, which combine improvisations from Gypsy musicians with a symphony orchestra.

Since 2004, Fischer has recorded for Channel Classics Records. His recording of Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Budapest Festival Orchestra for Channel Classics won a 2007 „Editor’s Choice“ Gramophone Award. Other Fischer/BFO releases have included Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Richard Strauss’s Josephslegende. On DVD, his Glyndebourne performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte was nominated for Gramophone and Grammy Award.

Photograph of the President and Mrs. Truman wi...

Photograph of the President and Mrs. Truman with Howard Mitchell, conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, on… – NARA – 200133 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006, he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. He is an honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the Conductor category,
^ Tim Ashley (2005-05-27). „Radical conduct“. The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
^ Tim Page (2007-04-13). „NSO Picks Fischer as Interim Maestro“. Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
^ Rupert Christiansen (2006-05-18). „My journey to the seductive heart of Così“. Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
^ Ulrich Amling (2011-02-21). „Ivan Fischer: Ein Mann für lange Beziehungen“. Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
External links
Budapest Festival Orchestra official site
Naxos Records biography of Fischer
Royal Philharmonic Society 2011 Award Winner, Iván Fischer
Iván Fischer discography at Channel Classics RecordsPreceded by
Christopher Seaman Artistic Director, Music Director and Principal Conductor, Northern Sinfonia
1979–1982 (with Tamás Vásáry) Succeeded by
Richard Hickox
Preceded by
no predecessor Music Director, Budapest Festival Orchestra
1983–present Succeeded by
Preceded by
Louis Langrée Music Director, Opéra National de Lyon
2000-2003 Succeeded by
Kazushi Ono
Preceded by
Leonard Slatkin Principal Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra
2008-2010 Succeeded by
Christoph Eschenbach

Categories: 20th-century classical composers
Hungarian conductors (music)
Hungarian composers
Jewish classical musicians
Jewish composers and songwriters
Alumni of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna
Hungarian Jews
Hungarian expatriates in Austria
People from Budapest
1951 births
Living people

Photograph of Margaret Truman with Howard Mitc...

Photograph of Margaret Truman with Howard Mitchell, conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, on the occasion of… – NARA – 200134 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Iván Fischer (* 20. Januar 1951 in Budapest) ist ein ungarischer Dirigent.

Iván Fischer nahm zunächst Klavier- und Geigenunterricht und wechselte dann zum Cello. Nach dem Kompositionsstudium in Budapest machte er sein Diplom in der Dirigierklasse von Hans Swarowsky an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. Für zwei Semester arbeitete er als Assistent von Nikolaus Harnoncourt am Salzburger Mozarteum.
Erste Erfolge [Bearbeiten]

Nach dem Erfolg beim Dirigentenwettbewerb der Rupert Foundation in London im Jahr 1976 begann seine internationale Karriere: er wurde von den meisten englischen Orchestern eingeladen und war regelmäßig Gastdirigent beim BBC Symphony Orchestra und dem London Symphony Orchestra. Dieses dirigierte er 1982 auf einer Welttournee. Es folgten Gastdirigate in zahlreichen Ländern: in den USA debütierte er 1983 mit dem Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Im selben Jahr kehrte Fischer nach Budapest zurück und gründete zusammen mit dem Pianisten Zoltán Kocsis das Budapest Festival Orchestra und ist seit über 20 Jahren dessen musikalischer Direktor.
Gastdirigent [Bearbeiten]

Als Gast dirigiert er regelmäßig international bedeutsame Orchester wie z. B. die Berliner und Münchner Philharmoniker, das Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, die New Yorker Philharmoniker, das Cleveland Orchestra, das Orchestre de Paris, das Israel Philharmonic Orchestra und das Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Fischer wurde besonders bekannt durch seine Interpretationen von Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Mahler und Bartók.

Schubert - Symphony No.4 & No.5 - Budapest Fes...

Schubert – Symphony No.4 & No.5 – Budapest Festival Orch., Ivan Fischer, Hungaroton (Photo credit: Piano Piano!)

Als Operndirigent hat Fischer sich einen Namen gemacht mit dem Mozart-Zyklus an der Wiener Staatsoper. Außerdem hat er Opernproduktionen in Zürich, London, Paris, Brüssel, Stockholm und Budapest geleitet.
1979–82 Musikalischer Direktor der Northern Sinfonia
1984–89 Musikalischer Direktor der Kent Opera
1989–96 Erster Gastdirigent des Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
2000–03 Chefdirigent der Oper von Lyon
2006–09 Erster Gastdirigent beim National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D. C.
Sonstiges [Bearbeiten]

Fischer hat zusammen mit der Enkelin des Komponisten die ungarische Gustav-Mahler-Gesellschaft gegründet und ist Schirmherr der englischen Kodály-Akademie. Sein Bruder Ádám Fischer ist ebenfalls Dirigent.


conduct! (Photo credit: kendrak)

Beim Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival 2007, das in diesem Jahr unter dem Länderschwerpunkt Ungarn stand, probte er mit der Orchesterakademie und studierte Beethovens 6. Sinfonie sowie die Musik zu Béla Bartóks Tanzpantomime Der holzgeschnitzte Prinz ein.[1] Zusätzlich gastierte Fischer mit dem Budapest Festival Orchestra und gab zusammen mit den Geigern József Lendvay und József „Csócsi“ Lenvay, sowie dem Zymbalspieler Oszkár Ökrös einen Einblick in die Einflüsse der Zigeunermusik auf symphonische Werke. Neben Liszt und Brahms stand auch Sarasate auf dem Programm.

English: Adnan Karim during a concert with the...

English: Adnan Karim during a concert with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in Sulaymaniyah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mit der Spielzeit 2012/13 wird Fischer Musikdirektor des Konzerthauses am Gendarmenmarkt und Chefdirigent des Konzerthausorchesters Berlin.[2]
Auszeichnungen [Bearbeiten]
1976 1. Preis beim Dirigentenwettbewerb der Rupert Foundation in London
Crystal Award des Weltwirtschaftsforums in Davos
Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres vom französischen Kultusministerium
Goldmedaille des ungarischen Staatspräsidenten
2006 Kossuth-Preis von Ungarn[3]
Diskografie [Bearbeiten]

London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 2

London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Die folgende Liste erhebt keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit:veröffentlicht Stücke Mitwirkende Plattenfirma/Nr. Typ
1984 Mozart: Symphony in G minor K. 990
Glinka: Rouslan and Ludmila – Overture
Mahler: Symphony no. 5 – Adagietto
Brahms: Hungarian Dance no. 1
Strauss: Excursion Train Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaraton HCD 12528 CD
1984 Schubert, Symphony no. 9 Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12722 CD
1985 Brahms: Hungarian Dances Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12571 CD
1985 Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major London Symphony Orchestra
Boris Belkin (Violine) London 411677 CD
1985 Mendelssohn: Symphony no. 3 Hungarian State Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12660 CD
1987 Schubert
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major D. 485
Symphony No. 4 in C minor D. 417 „Tragic“ Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaraton HCD 12842 CD

Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1990 Bartók:
Concerto for Orchestra
Dance Suite Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 31167 CD
1990 Richard Strauss
Don Juan
Till Eugenspiegel
Tod und Verklärung Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12899 CD
1990 Stravinsky
The Firebird-Suite
Petrushka Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 31095 CD
1994 Schubert: Symphonies nos. 3 & 8 Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12616 CD
1994 Dvorák: Cello Concerto
Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations Budapest Festival Orchestra
Miklós Perényi (Cello) Hungaroton HCD 12868 CD
1994 Kodály
Psalmus Hungaricus
Marosszek Dances

Sir Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orche...

Sir Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Queen’s Hall in 1911. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Galánta Dances Budapest Festival Orchestra
Andras Molnár (Tenor)
Állami Énekkar
Hungarian State Chorus
Bartók Béla Children’s Chorus of Győr Hungaroton HCD 31324 CD
1995 Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 4 „Italian“
Symphony no. 5 „Reformation“ Hungarian State Orchestra Hungaroton HCD 12414 CD
1995 Mozart
Missa Brevis K. 192
Vesperae Solennes De Confessore K. 339 Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra
Mária Zádori (Sopran)
Paul Esswood (Alt)
Alexander Oliver (Tenor)
László Polgár (Bass)
István Ella (Orgel)

London, Barbican Hall, London Symphony Orchestra

London, Barbican Hall, London Symphony Orchestra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chor „Jenuesses Musicale“ Hungaroton HCD 12235 CD
1995 Mozart: Symphonies in E-flat Major
Symphony No. 39 in E flat major K. 543
Symphony No. 19 in E flat major K. 132
Symphony No. 26 in flat E major K. 184 Budapest Festival Orchestra Hungaraton HCD 31093 CD
1995 Bartók: Violin Concertos nos. 1 & 2 Budapest Festival Orchestra
Thomas Zehetmair (Violine) Berlin Classics BC 0011342 CD
1996 Liszt: Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2
Dohnány: Variations on a Nursery Rhyme Budapest Festival Orchestra
Zoltán Kocsis (Piano) Hungarton-Philips HCD 31362

The logo of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The logo of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1996 Donizetti: Don Pasquale Hungarian Radio And Television Chorus
Ferenz Sapzon (Chorleiter)
Hungarian State Orchestra Hungarton HCD 12416-17 2 CDs
1997 Bartók: Piano Concertos nos. 1-3 Budapest Festival Orchestra
András Schiff (Klavier) Teldec 0630131582 CD
1997 Liszt: Faust Symphony Budapest Festival Orchestra
Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor)
Chor des Ungarischen Rundfunks Philips 002894544602 CD
1997 Bartók
The Wooden Prince
Dance Suite Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 002894544292 CD
1998 Bartók
The Miraculous Mandarin
Hungarian Peasant Songs

English: Austrian conductor Hans Richter

English: Austrian conductor Hans Richter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roumanian Folk Dances Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 0028945443027 CD
1998 Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 0028945657028 CD
1999 Bartók
Concerto for Orchestra
3 Village Scenes
Kossuth Budapest Festival Orchestra
Slovak Folk Ensemble Chorus
SLUK Slovakian Folk Ensemble Choir Philips 028945657523 CD
1999 Brahms: Hungarian Dances Budapest Festival Orchestra
József Lendvay Jr.(Violine)
József „Csócsi“ Lendvay Sr. (Violine)
Oszkár Ökrös (Cimbalom) Philips 0028946258927 CD
2000 Dvorák
Legends – Miniatures
Prague Waltzes Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 028946464724 CD
2001 Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy
Dvorák: Violin Concerto Budapest Festival Orchestra
Akiko Suwanai (Violine) Philips 0028946453124 CD
2001 Ravel: La Valse
Stravinsky: Three movements from Petrushka Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ádám Fellegi (Klavier) Hungaroton HCD 32038 CD
2002 Dvorák

Ivan Sigal

Ivan Sigal (Photo credit: re:publica 2012)

Slawische Tänze op. 46
8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 0028947060123 Hybrid-SACD
2002 Bartók: The Piano Concertos Budapest Festival Orchestra
Andreas Schiff (Klavier) Warner Classics CD
2002 Dvorák
Sinfonie Nr. 9 e-moll op. 95 „Aus der Neuen Welt“
Symphony No.8 in G, Op.88 Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 0028947061724 Hybrid-SACD
2003 Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle Budapest Festival Orchestra Philips 028947063322 Hybrid-SACD
2004 Rachmaninov
Symphony no. 2
Vocalise no. 14 Budapest Festival Orchestra Channel Classics 21604 Hybrid-SACD
2004 Tchaikovsky
Symphony no. 4

Deutsch: Das Palais Rothschild (Metternichgass...

Deutsch: Das Palais Rothschild (Metternichgasse) in Wien 20px 20px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romeo & Juliet Ouverture Budapest Festival Orchestra Channel Classics 21704 Hybrid-SACD
2005 Mahler: Symphony no. 6 Budapest Festival Orchestra Channel Classics 22905 Hybrid-SACD
2006 Bartók: Orchestral Works Budapest Festival Orchestra
SLUK Slovakian Folk Ensemble Choir Philips 028947576846 3 CDs
2006 Mahler: Symphony no. 2 Budapest Festival Orchestra
Lisa Milne
Birgit Remmert
Hungarian Radio Choir Channel Classics 23506 Hybrid-SACD, 2-CDs
2006 Debussy: Solo Piano Musik/Fantaisie
Ravel: Piano Concertos Budapest Festival Orchestra
Zoltán Kocsis (Klavier) Philips 028947573012 4 CDs
2010 Beethoven: Symphonien 4 & 6 Budapest Festival Orchestra Channel 2461447 1 SACD


UN Headquarter Vienna

UN Headquarter Vienna (Photo credit: Herr P.)

Literatur von und über Iván Fischer im Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
Iván Fischer in der deutschen und englischen Version der Internet Movie Database
Fotos des Fotografen Klaus Rudolph
Biografie der Künstleragentur IMG Artists
Biografie auf der Homepage des Budapest Festival Orchestra
Iván Fischer dirigiert das 1. Klavierkonzert von Brahms mit dem Pianisten Stephen Hought und dem Budapest Festival Orchestra YouTube-Video
Einzelnachweise [Bearbeiten]

Marine Corps Band Serenades Commandant Clifton...

Marine Corps Band Serenades Commandant Clifton B. Cates, 1 January 1951 (Photo credit: Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections)

↑ Programmheft des Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festivals vom 28./29. Juli 2007, Iván Fischer als Dirigent des Schleswig-Holstein Festival-Orchesters.
↑ Ungarischer Wind in Berlin. In: Zeit Online, 22. Februar 2011
↑ Bericht von Playbill Arts
Normdaten (Person): PND: 134373650 | LCCN: n84088424 | VIAF: 100313618 | Wikipedia-Personensuche
Kategorien: Ungarischer Musiker
Träger des Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Ritter)
Person (Budapest)
Geboren 1951

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