Maestro to Denmark: ‘I am in shock’

Maestro to Denmark: ‘I am in shock’


norman lebrecht

September 10, 2014

The Hungarian conductor Adam Fischer has responded with doom and dismay to the announcement by the Danish national broadcaster, DR, that is it closing down its chamber orchestra, of which he is chief conductor.

Fischer has made highly successful Mozart recordings with the orch. He says, inter alia, ‘we don’t all have 17 more years to begin all over again’.

DR UnderholdningsOrkestret-3

(photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull)

Statement from Adam Fischer

Chief conductor, The Danish National Chamber Orchestra


Like most of those affected I have only now heard of the plans to close down the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. Right now I am in a state of shock; I can hardly believe that this is true, nor can I envisage an artistic future without the orchestra.  I have been working with the musicians for 17 years. We have succeeded in developing an internationally unique and characteristic musical style admired – and rightly so – all over the world.   


And at the very time when our work is beginning to bear fruit, when the orchestra is getting invitations from important music centres worldwide, all is in ruins – I would have sworn this was impossible. To destroy is easy; to build up and restore the lost confidence is many times harder. We do not all have 17 more years to begin all over again. I certainly do not. 

Over the past few years I have seen constantly enthusiastic audiences in Copenhagen. And I’d like to think that sometimes during the concerts we have created some truly life-affirming moments. I know that the orchestra costs money. But I would like to believe that the moments of joy that the musicians of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra give their audiences are more valuable. Anyone who has ears to hear will know what I mean.

I appeal to all those who have taken pleasure in our concerts, who have delighted in experiencing Beethoven and Mozart, to think about how the orchestra can be saved.


Adam Fischer

September 10th, 2014


  • Lars says:

    Private sponsorship? It goes against my nature but as the governments in this part of the world frivolousy closes down everything that has value, maybe it is time to look for money in different places?

  • John Borstlap says:

    This sounds like the Dutch story…. When the purse comes under scrutiny and politicians look for targets where money can be cut, the arts get priority, because they ‘don’t serve any real purpose’. It looks as if classical music will shrink to the elitist size it had in its beginnings around 1800.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      John Borstlap says:
      It looks as if classical music will shrink to the elitist size it had in its beginnings around 1800.

      So for you, “classical music” begins in 1800? Interesting…

      • John Borstlap says:

        Music life as we know it, had indeed its beginnings somewhere around that time: the composer as relatively independent creator instead as merely a craftsman in the service of church and / or nobility, the early development of public concerts was well under way, performers and audiences forming a ‘market’ for scores and sheet music published by commercial publishing houses….. and Mr L. v. Beethoven getting very famous and creating an identity model of ‘the composer’ which has, more or less, survived for composers until this day (apart from some cranks who find this too much of a challenge). ‘Classical music’ as a genre began much earlier of course, and we listen to the ‘early music repertoire’ as if it were post-1800 concert music, while it was functioning rather differently at the time.

  • Hanne W says:

    Many danes are unhappy with this decision
    Do you think the Danish National Chamber Orchestra should survive?
    Some people in Denmark started this petition yesterday!
    Greetings from Copenhagen

  • James Morgan says:

    A short sighted decision and devastating for those involved.

    I’ve had the good fortune to conduct this orchestra on numerous occasions for some of their more commercial ventures – and have always been mightily impressed both by their musicianship and also the way they treat all genres of music equally seriously. How ironic that an orchestra that has done so much to attract different and diverse audiences should be the major casualty in a public service broadcasting cost cut exercise. With more ambition and support from the top it could have been -could still be – so different.