Conductor Iván Fischer

Iván Fischer

A preview of our concerts featuring the world-class Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, the founder and music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

About Iván Fischer

Iván Fischer, a conductor, composer, opera director, thinker, and educator, is widely regarded as one of the most visionary musicians of our time. With a strong foundation in the tradition of great musical polymaths, Fischer's focus is always on the music itself. He has introduced innovative concert formats and reformed the structure and working methods of symphony orchestras to serve the community in various combinations and musical styles.

As the Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer's tenure has witnessed tremendous success over the past three decades. Through international tours and acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics and Channel Classics, he has earned a global reputation as one of the most celebrated orchestral conductors, seamlessly blending tradition and innovation.

Fischer has established several festivals, including the Budapest Mahlerfest, the "Bridging Europe" festival, and the Vicenza Opera Festival. His efforts in fostering international cultural relations were recognized by the World Economic Forum, which honored him with the Crystal Award.

Having held significant positions such as principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, the Opéra National de Lyon, and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Fischer is now Conductor Laureate of the latter. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra appointed him Honorary Guest Conductor in recognition of their longstanding collaboration. He is a frequent guest conductor with renowned ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fischer's musical journey began in Budapest, where he studied piano, violin, and cello before joining Hans Swarowsky's legendary conducting class in Vienna. He launched his international career after winning the Rupert Foundation conducting competition in London, following two years as assistant to Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

As a composer since 2004, Fischer primarily focuses on vocal music with instrumental ensembles. His opera, "The Red Heifer," garnered global attention, while the children's opera, "The Gruffalo," enjoyed numerous revivals in Berlin. His work "Eine Deutsch-Jiddische Kantate" has been widely performed and recorded in multiple countries.

Fischer's contributions to the music community extend beyond his artistic endeavors. He founded the Hungarian Mahler Society and serves as a patron of the British Kodály Academy. Recognitions for his achievements include the Gold Medal from the President of the Republic of Hungary, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres honor from the French government, and the Hungarian Kossuth Prize. He also received prestigious awards such as the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013, he was named an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Notably, Fischer is an honorary citizen of Budapest, further highlighting his deep connection to the city.

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