Thierry Fischer has been Music Director of the Utah Symphony since 2009, and his contract was recently extended to 2022. He has led the orchestra in annual single composer cycles including Mahler, Ives and Nielsen, releasing acclaimed performances of Mahler’s symphonies 1 and 8 on Reference Records, the latter with the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 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 4 times a season. He plays an important role in the artistic planning, and will tour internationally with the orchestra.
Guesting this season includes a USA tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capuçon, and return visits to the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphonies. In recent seasons he has also conducted the Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Detroit Symphonies and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (New York), London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Oslo 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. He continues to enjoy the collaborative aspect of working with smaller ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Scottish, Swedish and Munich chamber orchestras, London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Intercontemporain. He is committed to contemporary music and 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 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.
Classical Music, March 2018
Thierry Fischer has a fine grasp of the work’s structure, so that the first movement’s conclusion is truly climactic. He is able, too, to sculpt Mahler’s huge second-movement Goethe with real intelligence… The Utah orchestra are on splendid form
Fanfare Magazine, March 2018
Spectacular…gorgeously massive…palpable in its naturalness…The Utah Symphony plays seductively here. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sweepingly grand…the children’s chorus .. limpid and beautiful…soft strings and golden trombones…When all come together at the end it is astonishing how the sound keeps expanding for the brass apotheosis…we have finally tamed the Mahler Eighth…this is a rave!
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.