Video: Conductor Ivan Fischer blows a Berlin Phil horn

Video: Conductor Ivan Fischer blows a Berlin Phil horn


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2015

ivan fischer horn

She should have let him play more.


  • Holger H. says:

    A wonderful musician and role model. He has it all. All that really matters anyway.
    Hopefully Berlin can keep him for a long time to come. Berlin is blessed with so many exceptional classical musicians, and when Petrenko comes, even more so.

    Let’s give the classical music scene in Berlin UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status, so the bean counters have it harder in their eager plight to surrender our culture and our humanity with it, to Mammon.

    • Doug says:

      Role model? Enriches himself on the backs of young, hardworking, often starving Hungarian musicians, yet lives luxuriously abroad and preaches morality and ethics to Hungarians who stay at home? I would be a fool to tell children to emulate him.

      • Anon says:

        Your accusation that he enriches himself on the cost of “starving musicians” is grave, do you have some facts to back it up? You just sound like you have some sour grapes with him.

  • Wai Kit Leung says:

    Does anyone know if Ivan Fischer studied horn when he was younger? This is too good for someone other than a horn player.

  • JohnB says:

    Before the search is driving me mad – Where is the second excerpt from? Brahms Piano Concerto?

  • Mr Oakmountain says:

    Many conductors strive to be able to play at least a few notes on each and every orchestral instrument – not enough to perform successfully, but enough to understand how it works and feels like. It gives them a better understanding of the people they work with than those conductors who “only” play the piano.

  • David says:

    I’m continually impressed by Sarah Willis, she’s so engaging and gets these guys to do something where they appear ridiculous.

    Hat’s off to Sarah!

    • Anon says:

      That’s one of the few advantages a woman that is equally competent as visually attractive and eloquent enjoys in this still in its majority male world of classical music. Men have always done the silliest things, if a beautiful woman asks them to do it.

  • Charles G. Clark-Maxwell says:

    This is an interesting subject. How many great conductors would be able to make a decent sound on an orchestral instrument ?

    Haitink said he “wasn’t the best fiddler in town”
    Rattle was a pretty good percussionist

    You get the idea. Any more offerings ?

    • Max Grimm says:

      Without commenting on their “greatness”, I can think of following (better known & living) conductors who actually held orchestral positions before switching sides:
      – Nikolaus Harnoncourt, cellist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for 17 years
      – Andris Nelsons, formerly a trumpet player in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra
      – Manfred Honeck, formerly a violist in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra & the Vienna Philharmonic
      – Jaap van Zweden, concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for 17 years
      – Osmo Vänskä, clarinetist in the Turku Philharmonic for 5 years, then principal clarinetist in the Helsinki Philharmonic for 5 years
      – Sakari Oramo, formerly concertmaster of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
      – Jukka-Pekka Saraste, formerly principal 2nd violinist of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

    • Max Grimm says:

      Two additions:
      – Charles Dutoit, freelance violist in several orchestras
      – François-Xavier Roth, 2nd flute in the Orchestre Symphonique Français and freelance flute player in the Paris Opera Orchestra & Orchestre National de France.