Hungarian-born Iván Fischer is one of the most renowned conductors of our time. As Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which he founded in 1983, he has positioned the ensemble as a leading symphony orchestra through concerts, tours and recordings for Philips Classics and Channel Classics. Iván Fischer was Music Director of Kent Opera, Opéra National de Lyon, Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and from 2012 to 2018 chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, which appointed him honorary conductor following his tenure. Iván Fischer also works closely with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which appointed him honorary guest conductor in 2020.
Fischer has developed successful music education formats with his orchestras, such as surprise and request concerts or - at the Konzerthausorchester Berlin - the concert series “Mittendrin”, in which the audience takes a seat in the orchestra. Since the beginning of the millennium, Iván Fischer has also increasingly appeared as a composer. His opera “Die Rote Färse” received its first German performance in 2014 at the Konzerthaus Berlin.
Iván Fischer is the founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and patron of the British Kodály Academy. He was awarded the Golden Medal by the President of the Republic of Hungary and the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for his services to the promotion of international cultural relations. The French government appointed him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honoured with the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious arts award in Hungary. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013 he was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Iván Fischer is an honorary citizen of Budapest.
Fischer studied piano, violin, violoncello and composition in Budapest. In Vienna he studied conducting in the class of Hans Swarowsky. He was then Nikolaus Harnoncourt's assistant for two years before his international career began in 1976 with winning the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition in London.
As of October 2022