Iván Fischer


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 conducting training with Hans Swarowsky and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He spent the early years of his career in Great Britain and in 1983 founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra, 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 was at the helm of the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, which subsequently named him Honorary Conductor. As a guest conductor, Fischer is primarily associated with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest, as well as with 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 companies have invited him to conduct operas. Fischer is also a stage director and has presented productions of Mozart operas, Verdi’s Falstaff, and staged concerts. In 2018, he established the Vicenza Opera Festival, where he will conduct Monteverdi’s Poppea in the fall of 2021. Fischer has also been extremely creative in developing new concert formats, inventing cocoa concerts for toddlers, midnight concerts for students, surprise concerts without an announced program, and the “Mittendrin” series, in which the audience is seated in the middle of 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 Gruffelo. Fischer received the Kossuth Prize in 2006, Hungary’s most important cultural award, and in 2011, the Royal Philharmonic Society Award. Iván 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 2021