The Hungarian conductor György Fischer, who was Karajan’s assistant at the Vienna Opera and married the Slovakian soprano Lucia Popp, has died at 85. He was the first cousin of conductors Adam and Ivan Fischer.
He was principal conductor at Cologne Opera for quarter of a century until 1990.
The company has posted an obituary here.
After their divorce, Popp married the English opera chief Peter Jonas. Fischer married the American violinist Ida Bieler.
Adam Fischer writes: ‘He gave me a lot, I learned a lot from him. He gave me artistic and practical advice, all of which were invaluable. I owe most of what I have achieved in my professional career to him. And he was humble, always happy, always helpful to everyone. Envy and frustration, which unfortunately are so common in the world of artists, were completely alien to him. Maybe that was his secret too. He was happy and content in life. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He was married to Ida Bieler for over forty years, who used to be concertmaster of the Gürzenich Orchestra. The two were very different in temperament, but they harmonized wonderfully. It was wonderful to see them together! I always felt at home with you straight away.’