Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and recently extended to 2022, Thierry Fischer has revitalized the orchestra with creative programming, critically acclaimed performances, and new recordings. Highlights of his tenure include a multi-season Haydn symphony cycle; Mahler, Beethoven and Nielsen cycles; and a tour of Utah’s five national parks. In celebration of its 75th anniversary season, the orchestra appeared at Carnegie Hall in April 2016 to critical acclaim and released an album of newly commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas on Reference Recordings. Following a well-reviewed Mahler 1 CD, they recorded Mahler’s 8th symphony in Utah with the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir, due for release later this season.
In September 2016 Fischer was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, starting January 2017 and running concurrently with his Utah position for an initial 3 years. He will visit Seoul at least 4 times a season and will play an important role in the artistic planning.
In Summer 2016 Fischer toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and debuted at the Mostly Mozart Festival New York and at the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence. Earlier in the season he conducted the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall. Guesting in the past couple of years has also included Boston Symphony, Atlanta, Cincinatti and Detroit Symphonies, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, Munich Chamber, Swedish Chamber and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as the BBC Symphony at the Barbican and the London Sinfonietta. In Autumn 2016 he conducts the Sao Paulo Philharmonic - his first visit to South America.
Whilst Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2006-2012 Fischer appeared every year at the BBC Proms and toured internationally. He also made many recordings, notably for Hyperion (Honegger, d’Indy, Florent Schmitt) but also Stravinsky for Signum and Orfeo. His Hyperion recording of Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus won the International Classical Music Award in 2012 (opera category). In 2014 he released a Beethoven disc with the London Philharmonic on 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.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, May 2016
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.
New York Times, May 2016
The inspired players excelled in an ambitious program… fresh, lively account of Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 ... [Utah SO at Carnegie Hall] 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.
Times, March 2014
There can’t be many conductors who know Olivier Messiaen’s Eclairs sur l’au-delà well enough to take over a performance at short notice. Stepping in for Sylvain Cambreling, Thierry Fischer directed the BBC Symphony Orchestra with such ease and clarity of gesture that one wondered why he hadn’t been booked in the first place.