Thierry Fischer

Symphony Music Director

Thierry Fischer recently renewed his contract as Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra to a 10-year term, thanks to his vibrancy, commitment and energy. He has attracted leading young musicians to join the orchestra and top soloists to come to Utah, has refreshed the programming, drawn consistently full houses, and galvanised community support. “He conducts with both clarity and passion…Utah is lucky to have this conductor” (Chicago Sun Times, July 2013).

His hallmarks are a lightness of touch and transparency of texture, allowing room for vivid characterisation. He has a keen stylistic sense, and where appropriate uses natural brass and baroque timpani. “Fischer’s conducting is concise and considered, with a thrilling knack for holding energy levels at brimming point without letting a drop spill over” (Guardian, January 2013).
Fischer also brings a real excitement to his performances of contemporary works by composers such as Holt, Jarrell, Andriessen, Boulez, Holliger, Rihm, Widmann and Simon Holt, his Composer in Residence during his tenure at the BBC. He has instigated a major commissioning programme in Utah, which began in spring 2012 with a cello concerto for Jean-Guihen Queyras composed by Michael Jarrell, which he also conducted with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 2014.

Fischer was Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006-2012 and returned with them to the BBC Proms in 2014. A busy guesting career has taken him to orchestras as diverse as the Philharmonia, Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra Chicago, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber, and Swedish Chamber. Highlights of 2014 onwards include Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest (The Hague), BBC Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, Madrid RTVE, Aspen Music Festival, Detroit Symphony and Atlanta Symphony. In October 2014 he made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Fischer has made numerous recordings, many of them for Hyperion Records, whose CD with Fischer of Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus was awarded the International Classical Music Award (opera category) in 2012. Other recent Hyperion releases have included Honegger, d’Indy and Florent Schmitt with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales – with whom he has also recorded the Stravinsky ballets for Signum and Stravinsky and Frank Martin concerti with Baiba Skride for Orfeo. In 2014 he recorded Beethoven piano concerti with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and rising star Louis Schwizgebel for the Aparte label.

Fischer started out as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera. His conducting career began in his 30s when he replaced an ailing colleague, subsequently directing his first few concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe where he was Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado. He spent his apprentice years in Holland, and became Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra 2001-2006. He was Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2008-2011, making his Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo in May 2010, and is now Honorary Guest Conductor.

Thierry Fischer is represented by Intermusica.