Two Fischers in a close encounter

Two Fischers in a close encounter


norman lebrecht

January 03, 2017

Conductor brothers Adam (l.) and Ivan Fischer met unexpectedly backstage this weekend at Müpa Budapest.

Ádám Fischer conducted Haydn’s Creation in the 2017 New Year’s Concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Purcell Choir.


  • Neil says:

    Is Handel’s “Creation” a recent discovery?


      Where does it say Handel?

      • Max Grimm says:

        The last sentence of the thread’s introduction originally read “Ádám Fischer conducted Handel’s Creation […]”.
        Norman has since corrected his inadvertent misattribution of The Creation.

    • David Osborne says:

      Better described as a recent creation. We should never describe our inventions, our ‘creations’ if you like as ‘discoveries’. Just ask Arnie Schönberg.

  • Olassus says:

    At least they’re on speaking terms.

  • Manu says:

    Adam is the older brother…

  • NSO Musician says:

    It is interesting to note how many stories about Ivan Fischer appear on this blog. He was unexceptional and often grim in his position as principal conductor from 2008-2010 in Washington, DC as conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. In fact, he has publicly said he won’t guest conduct in Washington and he hasn’t. Who is this guy?

    • David Osborne says:

      Maybe that was a different Ivan Fischer? Certainly doesn’t sound like the one who is so loved here in Berlin.

    • Daniel F. says:

      Anyone with musical standards as high as Ivan Fischer’s would have been “grim” had he (or she) tried to impose them on the ragged National Symphony, not to mention doing it in the acoustical nightmare of the Kennedy Center’s concert hall. Many conductors have tried to get this band into the top tier of American orchestras. Nobody can claim success. If Gianandrea Noseda can manage it, he should get a “Genius” grant and a Nobel!

      • NSO musician says:

        That’s quite the wise crack and certainly not appreciated by anyone here is Washington. The regular conductors who have enjoyed our stage and hall speak for themselves: De Burgos, Maazel, Bernstein, Dorati, Rostropovich, Ozawa, Dohnanyi, Solti, Masur, Honeck, van Zweden, Conlon, de Waart, Runnicles, Urbanski, Stern, Vanska, Slatkin and Eschenbach. Fischer? No. It was not a good match no matter how you slice it and I still think he gets too much press on this blog.

        • Daniel F. says:

          Am happy for all of them and for you as well, but good cheer will not a major orchestra make. Your best chance was a Minnesota strike that would last as long as the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case in Dickens’s Bleak House. Then you might have been able to land Vanska, and it’s just possible that this great musician and uncommonly warm-hearted (and courageous) human being might have been able to pull off a SECOND “Festivus Miracle” with the NSO. His way with the Sibelius 3 and the Mendelssohn “Italian” was just terrific and, despite the Post’s critic’s demurral, took you guys to a realm where you were not otherwise to be found–at least during my three years in DC.

          • NSO musician says:

            I once had the briefest of conversations with him about compatriot Hungarian Sir Georg Solti. Expecting something exemplary, because he was one of my favorite podium personalities, Fischer sighed his name while looking into the distance. That was it as he walked away. Curious man.

          • Brian from Washington says:

            Without further evidence, I hope NSO Musician’s remark is not intended to imply Ivan Fischer disrespects Solti’s memory. At Ivan Fischer’s invitation Solti made his last recordings with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. And when Solti died before his planned concert with the BFO, Fischer conducted the program as a memorial. For what it’s worth I attended most of Fischer’s concerts in DC, and thought he and the orchestra performed marvelously together, regardless of any personality differences.

  • Eli Bensky says:

    Is there a problem between the brothers

  • M2N2K says:

    Having worked on several occasions with both of them, albeit not lately, I have better memories of making music with Adam than with his brother. It may be partly because I was greatly impressed by the former’s extremely charming personality. His musicianship however was also very fine.