Thierry Fischer has been Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic since January 2017. During his tenure in Utah he has revitalised the orchestra, and his contract was recently extended to 2022. He led the orchestra in annual single composer cycles including Mahler, Ives and Nielsen, has toured to Utah’s five national parks, and forged outreach links in Haiti. In celebration of its 75th anniversary season in 2016, the orchestra appeared at Carnegie Hall 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 in Autumn 2017. He visits Seoul at least 4 times a season, will tour internationally with the orchestra, and plays an important role in the artistic planning.
Fischer has guested with many leading orchestras, most recently the Boston, Atlanta, Cincinatti and Detroit Symphonies and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (New York), London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale Firenze, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and in Autumn 2016 visited South America for the first time to conduct the Sao Paulo Philharmonic. In the past year or two he has also conducted the Scottish, Swedish and Munich chamber orchestras, London Sinfonietta and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He is committed to contemporary music and has performed and commissioned many world premieres - this season he conducts the Ensemble Intercontemporain for the first time at the Opera Comique.
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.