Iván Fischer is the founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra since 1983. He is the Honorary Conductor of Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester. From 2018 he will be the Artistic Director of the Vicenza Opera Festival. In recent years he has also gained reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Austria.
Iván Fischer has conducted operas in the Staatsoper Vienna, in the Royal Opera House in London, in the Opera de Paris, and in opera houses in Zürich, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Brussels, Berlin, Budapest. He was Music Director of Kent Opera and the Opera National de Lyon. Since 2013 he works exclusively with the Iván Fischer Opera Company, with whom he has directed a number of successful “staged concerts”. These productions have been performed in Budapest, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Bruges and in the Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh Festivals.
He studied piano, violin, and later the cello and composition in Budapest, before continuing his education in Vienna and Salzburg where he studied conducting under Hans Swarowsky and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Between 2007 and 2010 Iván Fischer was Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC. From 2012 to 2018 he was Music Director of the Konzerthaus Berlin. The Berlin Philharmonic has played more than ten times under Fischer’s baton, and he also spends two weeks every year with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is also a frequent guest of the leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. The Budapest Festival Orchestra’s frequent worldwide tours, and a series of critically-acclaimed records which have been awarded prestigious international prizes, released first by Philips Classics and later by Channel Classics, have contributed to Iván Fischer’s reputation as one of the world’s most visionary music directors.
Iván Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He has received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services in promoting international cultural relations. The government of the French Republic made him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Hungary’s Prima Primissima Prize and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013 he was accorded Honorary Membership to the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2015, he was presented with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2016 he won the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for Best Foreign Conductor.