Born into a family of musicians in Budapest in 1951, Iván Fischer studied piano, violin, cello, and composition in his native city before completing his conductor training with Hans Swarowsky and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. After his first professional years in Great Britain, he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, which he led to international fame and over which he still presides as Artistic Director. He has also served as Music Director of the Opéra de Lyon and Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. From 2012 to 2018, he helmed the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, which subsequently named him Honorary Conductor. He has been associated with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as Honorary Guest Conductor since 2021. Fischer has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. The Vienna Staatsoper, London’s Royal Opera House, the Opéra national de Paris, and numerous other renowned theaters have invited him to conduct operas. Fischer is also a stage director and has created productions of Mozart operas and Verdi’s Falstaff as well as staged concerts. He established the Vicenza Opera Festival in 2018 and will present Britten’s The Turn of the Screw there in October 2022. Fischer has also been extremely creative in developing new concert formats and established the Cocoa Concerts for toddlers, Surprise Concerts, and the “Mittendrin” series, in which the audience is seated within the orchestra. As a composer, he has written chamber music, choral works, the music theater piece The Red Heifer, and the children’s opera The Gruffalo. In 2006, Iván Fischer was recognized with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most important cultural award, and in 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award. Fischer is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, and an honorary citizen of Budapest.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1986 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in works by Liszt as well as Schubert.

July 2022