Honorary Guest Conductor

Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer is in his second season as Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, where he has revitalised the music-making and programming, and brought a new energy to the orchestra and organisation as a whole. 2011/12 was also his sixth and final season as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Fischer and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales appear every season at the BBC Proms in London. Since the start of Fischer’s tenure, the orchestra has mounted major celebrations of the music of Dutilleux and Messiaen, and toured to the USA, Spain, Italy, Amsterdam and Prague.


Alongside his regular relationships, Fischer has guest-conducted orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Orchestre of the Age of Enlightenment, the Czech Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyon, SWR Baden Baden, the Berlin Konzerthausorchester and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Additional guest-conducting appearances have included the Indianapolis, New Jersey and Colorado symphonies, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth, Australia. In the past few months, Fischer has conducted the WDR, Cologne, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux, and the Zurich Chamber orchestras, alongside regular collaborators such as the Scottish Chamber, the Northern Sinfonia, the Swedish Chamber, the RSI Lugano and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris.


In 11/12, he returned to the Netherlands Radio Chamber and the London Sinfonietta, and toured to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and New York with the Kioi Sinfonietta Toyko. He also had debuts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Orchestre National de Belgique, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In Utah, in the autumn of 2011, he launched a Beethoven cycle with the 9th symphony, paired with John Adams’s Transmigration of Souls.


Fischer began his musical career 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 then became Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2001-06. He was Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic for three years until April 2011, making his Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo in May 2010.


His hallmarks are a lightness of touch and transparency of texture, allowing room for vivid characterisation. He has a keen stylistic sense, and whilst at the BBC, has introduced natural trumpets and baroque timpani for suitable repertoire. Fischer regularly programmes living composers such as Simon Holt (Composer in Residence at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), and has instigated a major commissioning programme in Utah, starting with a cello concerto by his compatriot Michel Jarrell in 2011/12.


Fischer has recorded CDs of Honegger, d’Indy and Florent Schmitt for Hyperion Records with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and in Spring 2011, Hyperion released a live recording from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam of Frank Martin’s opera The Tempest, with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. In 2011, Signum Records released the last of 3 discs of the major Stravinsky ballets, also with the BBC NOW. Fischer has also recorded for ASV and Chandos, and his recording on Deutsche Grammophon of Frank Martin with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was nominated for a Gramophone Award.