Thierry conducts a series of concerts in São Paulo as Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. This is his first return to the orchestra as Music Director since his opening concerts in March this year – a delayed return caused by travel restrictions associated with the global pandemic.
On 12 – 14 November, Thierry leads the orchestra through a programme of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with Jean-Guihen Queyras as soloist and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. With the recent re-opening of Sala São Paulo, Thierry and the orchestra will perform in front of a small socially-distanced audience.
Thierry returns to the concert stage in the UK in October with two performances in London and Poole.
On 21 October Thierry conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in London with a programme on the theme of memory and renewal, from the splendour of Vivaldi’s Venice to Thomas Larcher’s 2014 cello concerto Ourobouros. The performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and streamed on Marquee TV a week later.
Click here to listen to the performance live on BBC Radio 3
Click here to watch a broadcast of the performance on Marquee TV
On 28 October Thierry returns to Poole to conduct Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Lighthouse in front of a small socially-distanced audience and livestreamed online. Music by Fauré, Ravel and Saint-Saëns forms this all-french programme.
Click here to purchase a ticket to watch the livestream
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) have announced that Thierry Fischer will extend his contract as Utah Symphony Music Director through August 2023. In May 2019, Fischer had announced his plans to conclude his tenure at the end of the 2021–22 season. This extension adds one year to his role as Music Director, and will run concurrently with his Music Directorship of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), which he took up in March of this year.
USUO leadership and
board representatives cited Thierry’s commitment to supporting the arts in Utah,
his love for the organization, its musicians and patrons, and his willingness
to aid in the continuity of the organization and our mission.
“With so much
uncertainty in the future, it is a natural gesture for me to help provide the
orchestra and its board with much needed stability,” said music director
Thierry Fischer. “It made perfect sense to extend my contract by another
season, through 2023, to assist the organization through these challenging
times and give them the time necessary to run the search for my successor. I
will always be here for our Utah Symphony in good and in unprecedented times
and look forward to embracing the challenges of the future as we create music
for our community together.”
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s operations and planning has been vast. Over the past six months and throughout this 2020–21 season, planned artistic activity has had to be postponed and abruptly changed. In addition to USUO’s desire to reschedule artists and repertoire affected by cancelled or postponed programming, its music director search has been altered by these changes to the season planning.
“Thierry Fischer’s love
for this community and commitment to this orchestra are inspiring. His
willingness to stay with us for an extra season is hugely appreciated, and will
provide direction as we recover from this pandemic,” shared Patricia A. Richards,
who is Chair of the Music Director Search Committee, served as chair of the
USUO board from 2005 through 2014 and was interim CEO from 2015 through 2016
and from 2019 through August 2020. She added, “I’m very appreciative of
Thierry’s commitment to see the Utah Symphony through these challenging times.”
President and CEO
Steven Brosvik expressed appreciation for Thierry’s extended tenure and ability
to continue his positive influence on the community. “I am extremely grateful to Thierry for agreeing
to remain with us into the 2022-23 season. Thierry’s artistic impact on
performing arts in our state is apparent and I am looking forward to having
more time to experience his amazing work collaborating with the fine musicians
of this orchestra. I have enjoyed getting to know Thierry in our early work
together and believe there is great music yet ahead for all of us.”
guidance will be invaluable as we emerge from this pandemic and find innovative
ways to continue to serve our community through music,” stated USUO board chair
Tom Love, who has led the board since September 2019. “We have put plans into
motion to fully participate in the economic recovery and emotional healing that
our community desperately needs at this time, and having Thierry’s continued
leadership is critical to our success.”
At the conclusion of
his tenure in 2023, Fischer will have led the Utah Symphony as Music Director
for fourteen years, during which time he has revitalized the orchestra and
raised its national and international profile through creative programming,
renewed excellence in performance, commissioning contemporary composers’ works,
and ambitious tours and recording projects. In September 2023, he will assume
the title of Music Director Emeritus, in which capacity he will continue his
musical relationship with the orchestra through regular return engagements.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Utah Symphony suspended in-person performances from March through August 2020. USUO continues working closely with artists and government representatives and is regularly updating safety procedures and concert programming in response to current health conditions in our community. The Utah Symphony resumed live performances, with Fischer on the podium, in September 2020. Details regarding future performances during the 2020–21 season are being announced on a regular basis with updated information residing on utahsymphony.org.
Longing from Afar is a piece by Dai Fujikura that was commissioned and premiered online on 30 May 2020 by Music Director Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony. The piece was inspired by and recorded using the video conferencing software, Zoom.
Dai Fujikura, composer/sound engineer Thierry Fischer, conductor Utah Symphony, orchestra Andrea Peterson, video editor
“As a result of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was considering how all musicians make sound together even when we are all physically far apart…[performing] at home due to lockdown. Inspired by this, I designed this work to be performed with a conductor, which is unlike many other open score works. The conductor has a direct influence on the sound of the music working ensemble with other musicians.” Dai Fujikura
Thierry Fischer, together with the Utah Symphony, have premiered a new commission by composer Augusta Read Thomas.
The new piece was commissioned in April this year, and it came about through contact made by Clovis Lark, principal librarian of the Utah Symphony and Thierry Fischer with the composer. Augusta Read Thomas was to create a new, four-minute fanfare that could be performed by the Utah Symphony, with the stipulation that each musician would be performing alone from their homes.
The resulting piece, Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity, was composed in late April and early May, and it was a mere two weeks from that phone call until the time that Augusta delivered a full orchestral score and set up orchestral parts.
Watch and listen to the virtual world premiere here:
“The world has momentarily stopped. Our desire for creativity is multiplied,” said Maestro Fischer, whose active support of contemporary composers has been one of the calling cards of his decade-long tenure as music director. “New music is a call to look, listen, and guess what is rarely said. New music reveals the gods and demons hiding in the depths of our souls, and then transforms them into a transfiguring beauty’.”
“How fortunate to have been able to collaborate on the world premiere of a new piece of hope with the dear talented, imaginative, poetic and understanding composer Augusta Read Thomas,” said Maestro Fischer. “She has immediately responded to our offer with the same urgency for new ideas and innovation which are driving the Utah Symphony during this unprecedented times.”
Beginning on 5 March, Thierry begins as Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, conducting Beethoven Missa Solemnis in Ré Maior, Op.123 at the Sala São Paulo.
Thierry said the following about the engagement:
“Beethoven was constantly striving towards new horizons, and I so I cannot imagine a more fitting start to my new relationship in Sao Paulo, than to join forces with the OSESP choir and orchestra for his revelatory Missa Solemnis”.
This follows “an electrifying Beethoven 7 from a faultless Brussels Philharmonic and an utterly committed Thierry Fischer” two weeks ago at Brussels Flagey; “ brisk tempi, springy rhythms, a sense of suspense, irrepressible energy, properly surprising transitions…very taut, invigorating, electrifying…and yet with finelly chiselled articulation” – Resmusica, February 2020.
The first concert on 5 March, will be broadcast live on the São Paulo Symphony’s Facebook, Youtube and also on Arte 1.
Thierry was recently interviewed by OSESP Artistic Director Arthur Nestrovski regarding his youth as Principal flute player for the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the influence of conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Read the full interview here.
The programme, titled “Unrequited Love”, begins with Tcherepnin Prelude to the Distant Princess, followed by Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43, where Thierry and orchestra will be joined by pianist Andrei Korobeinikov.
The concert will close with Thierry conducting through Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, Op.14.
Continuing their critically acclaimed Saint-Saëns cycle, Thierry conducts the Utah Symphony through a new recording of Saint-Saëns Symphony No 1 & Carnival of the Animals, released on Hyperion this month. Recorded at Abravanel Hall, the album features Symphony No 1 in E flat major Op 2, Le carnaval des animaux and finally the Symphony in A major. Click here to purchase the album from Hyperion Records or click here to purchase from Amazon.
Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the cycle was released earlier this year and was warmly received by the press, with Limelight Magazine praising Thierry and the Utah Symphony for their blend of “American muscle and Gallic lyricism”.
Click here to purchase Volume 1, and here to purchase Volume 2.