Johannes Fischer

Acclaimed by the press as “a magician of sounds”, Johannes Fischer impresses and touches audiences around the world with his energetic playfulness, his sensitivity and emotional depth. The 1st prize winner of the International ARD Music Competition in Munich shows that percussion playing is a lot more than muscles and power. He aims to connect with the poetic sound qualities of his wide range of instruments. For him, music is creative exploration and acoustic adventure.

Johannes Fischer is not only a sought-after instrumentalist but also very busy in the field of composition, improvisation and teaching. He very much enjoys the many different aspects and synergies of his diverse artistic activities.

His international career as a percussion soloist leads him to concert halls like the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York and the Philharmonic Halls in Cologne and Berlin. He has been invited to perform with orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and the Scottish Ensemble. Johannes Fischer also plays at major festivals around the globe, often in collaboration with other instrumentalists, composers and colleagues from different artistic fields.

With his long-standing ensembles such as the eardrum percussion duo (with Domenico Melchiorre), the duo his wife Nari Hong (flutes) and the Trio Belli-Fischer-Rimmer (trombone, percussion, piano) he is a sought-after chamber musician and frequent guest at festivals, e.g. the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus or the Heidelberg Spring Festival.

Johannes’ repertoire comprises the important works of the 20th and 21st centuries by composers such as Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, George Aperghis and Morton Feldman, as well as pieces specially written for him. Lately he has been working on concepts for electro-acoustic solo shows, for example “one drum, many dreams” featuring own pieces for snare drum and works by James Tenney, Mauricio Kagel and others.

For Johannes Fischer, improvising is unquestionably on the same level as playing written music. In this field, he has been collaborating with percussionists Matthias Kaul, Jean-Pierre Drouet and Fritz Hauser as well as French jazz pianist Edouard Ferlet. Together with pianist Nicholas Rimmer he is creating new film soundtracks for silent movies such as “Metropolis” or “Nosferatu”. Under the name pulse generator he is exploring the world of experimental, psychedelic electroacoustic club sounds with Nari Hong (flutes, voice and electronics) and Franz Danksagmüller (live-electronics, KYMA).

As a composer, Johannes Fischer was commissioned by the Crested Butte Music Festival Colorado, the Lucerne Festival, the Louvre Paris, the Young European Sound Forum, the Amaryllis Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, the ensemble Musikfabrik, the Heidelberg Spring Festival, the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, the BBC & the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. Just recently, the BBC released a video clip with his composition “Music for electrified table and strings – a dining experience with Telemann” together with the Scottish Ensemble.

His recordings for OehmsClassics (“Gravity”) and Genuin (“Traces” and “ritual obsessions”) were reviewed enthusiastically by the international music press. In 2015/16, the label Wergo released his recordings of Enjott Schneider’s works “Sisyphos” for solo percussion and orchestra with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and “Phoenix” for oboe, percussion and strings with Christoph Hartmann (oboe) and the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich under Kevin John Edusei.

As a percussionist, Johannes won several prizes and scholarships, among them the first prizes at the German National Music Universities Competition and the German Music Competition. At the 56th International ARD Music Competition in Munich he was awarded the first prize and four additional special prizes.

He studied with Bernhard Wulff, Taijiro Miyazaki and Pascal Pons at the Freiburg University of Music and with the Gerd Bucerius Scholarship at the University of California San Diego with Steven Schick. In addition, he pursued private studies in conducting with Francis Travis and in composition with Dieter Mack.

Having taught at the Conservatory of Music in Lugano, Switzerland and having been invited to numerous masterclasses around the world, Johannes Fischer was appointed professor at the Lübeck University of Music in 2009. Since then, he is the head of the percussion department and coordinates a variety of ensemble activities and artistic collaborations.

As of: January 2020

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