Thierry Fischer has been Music Director of the Utah Symphony since 2009 and will finish his final term in Summer 2022, becoming Music Director Emeritus. He has been Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic since 2017 (contract extended to the end of 2020). In March 2020 he begins a new position as Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony.
Fischer has led Utah Symphony in annual single composer cycles including Mahler, Ives and Nielsen; he has also released acclaimed performances of Mahler’s symphonies 1 and 8 on Reference Records, the latter with the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 2019 saw the first release of a Saint-Saens symphony cycle on Hyperion as part of an ongoing collaboration (also to excellent reviews). He has conducted the orchestra in Utah’s five national parks and forged outreach links in Haiti. In celebration of its 75th anniversary season in 2016, he brought the orchestra to Carnegie Hall for the first time in 40 years, and released a CD of newly commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic from January 2017, he visits Seoul at least four times a season. He plays an important role in the artistic planning, and in December 2018 toured Europe with the orchestra.
Highlights of Summer 2019 included Fischer’s debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, and a revelatory Strauss and Sibelius programme with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at London’s Southbank Centre – where, in 2019/20, he also conducts Tristan Murail with the London Sinfonietta and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also has a significant presence this season at Flagey in Brussels, where he conducts three back-to-back Beethoven programmes with the Brussels Philharmonic.
Last season was notable for several staged projects – Zender’s Winterreise in Strasbourg, Zauberfloete at Utah Opera, and Candide in Utah and Seoul. In recent seasons he has also conducted the Boston, Atlanta and Cincinnati symphonies, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (New York), London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale Firenze, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; also the Swedish and Munich chambers, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Ensemble Intercontemporain. He has performed and commissioned many world premieres.
Whilst Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2006–2012, Fischer appeared every year at the BBC Proms, toured internationally, and recorded for Hyperion, Signum and Orfeo, winning the ICMA Award in 2012 for Frank Martin’s Der Sturm on Hyperion with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. In 2014 he released a Beethoven disc with the London Philharmonic on the Aparté label. His latest recordings include Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky – Lieutenant Kijé Suite (Reference Recordings (2019) and volume 2 of the Saint Saens series, Saint-Saëns Symphony No.2 (Hyperion (2019), both with Utah Symphony Orchestra.
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.
LA Times, January 2018
The playing was on the highest quality I'd heard from it in years
Financial Times, March 2018
A mesmerising performance
Fanfare, March 2019
"...this is one [recording] you really do need to hear... as in all the great recorded performances nothing seems forced or overdone, nor is there a hint of the trite or bombastic. The fact that it was also captured live only proves what a stunningly fine group the Utah Symphony under Fischer has become... one of the most desirable Saint-Saëns collections in years"
Fanfare, March 2019