Ivan Fischer accepts Concertgebouw post

Ivan Fischer accepts Concertgebouw post


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2020

The Hungarian conductor, who is based in Amsterdam, has accepted the title of honorary guest conductor from September 2021, working with the orchestra two or three weeks each season.

It’s a neither-here-nor-there appointment. The orchestra has lacked a music director since it fired Daniele Gatti. Fischer has performed with them praxtically every year since 1987 without being considered for the top job.

See also: How to wreck a once-great orchestra


  • I think it would be better to give at the great Ivan the post of musical director for 3 or 4 years. I suppose he refused this year or before there were some rumours about it. Anyway, the RCO will continue to work like the Winer for 3 or 5 years. Personnaly I hope they think about Chung my first choice, he knows very well the house and he did a 9th of Mahler fabulous I have seen just before the lockdown but maybe he’s too old like Ivan. Because I don’t know why a musical director must be not too old today.

  • Tamino says:

    Based in Amsterdam? Has he moved there lately? Fischer was firmly based in Berlin at least the last decade.

  • Manu says:

    He lost the vote against Gatti, for obvious reasons. Fischer had always been the favourite of Raes.

    • There are some things we will never know. Anyway Gatti was not well elected he was not popular like Chailly and Mariss before. Maybe Ivan refused because he didn’t want to lose Budapest or to have two jobs in the same time. Now it seems that the first choice is Andris but he’s not free for a long time. And maybe it would be the good moment for Dudamel. Or the french Roth we have seen recently will create the surprise.

  • sam says:

    more of an exploitation than a promotion.

    reminds me of Peter Gelb appointing Fabio Luisi “principal conductor” of the Met, just to entice him enough to cancel last minute with Vienna to take over for an ill (in more ways than one) James Levine, but then when the promised land was in sight, appointed instead the Absolutely Fabulous Nezet-Séguin as Music Director.

  • caranome says:

    “honorary guest conductor”? How many made-up titles can there be? Associate adjunct director? esteemed adjunct director? occasional guest conductor?

  • Papageno says:

    we don’t have any conductor of ‘legendary’ status anymore. RCO should just hire some young LGBTQ person just to be politically safe.

  • Evan Tucker says:

    A perfect designation for the best of the best conductors in standard repertoire today.

    Why has nobody thrown Paavo Jarvi’s name into the ring?

  • Orin O. says:

    As a long-time member (and music enthusiast) of the New York Philharmonic, I can truthfully offer the opinion that Ivan Fischer is one of our favorite guest conductors and that the Beethoven 4th Symphony he conducted with us at his latest concert was one of the most satisfying performances ever. He also has thought for many years of the best acoustic set-up for a classical size orchestra, and his requested seating for us (with basses on the highest riser behind the next lower level of woodwinds, with French horns to stage right and tympani stage left — both on risers slightly lower than bass riser, with the rest of the strings in front of the conductor in their usual places)… has allowed us to hear each other clearly, produce a warm yet clear tone quality, and communicate with the conductor, each other and the audience with ease. I imagine I can speak for many (if not most) of my colleagues if I congratulate the Concertgebouw for their intelligent and musical invitation to Maestro Fischer.

  • fflambeau says:

    He’s very good. Well done.

  • Anon says:

    Ivan is not high pedigree enough. Chung’s Mahler 9 was very average. He is overrated. Shame on them they sacked Gatti, no sensible replacement seems to be available.

  • I was on the second row just behind the orchestra in center for Chung’s Mahler 9 with the RCO in februrary; I don’t know if it was the best Mahler 9 of the last years but it’s a memory I will remember all my life.

  • Nick2 says:

    Can someone explain to me why a 2 or 3 week annual engagement merits any kind of title!