Ivan Fischer cancels Berlin Phil

Ivan Fischer cancels Berlin Phil


norman lebrecht

December 11, 2020

Personal reasons, these days, can mean anything from quarantine to catastrophe. Best not to ask.

Press statement:

For personal reasons, conductor Iván Fischer has cancelled his appearance at the live broadcast in the Digital Concert Hall on Saturday 19 December. The Berliner Philharmoniker are very grateful to Andris Nelsons for agreeing to step in.



  • Eyal Braun says:

    He is conducting this evening (11.12) a live concert in the Concertgebouw, which is streamed directly from the concert hall- Berlioz’ song cycle Les nuits d’été (with Miah Persson) and Mozart Symphony no 34 …

  • fflambeau says:

    Interesting replacement.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Best wishes to Ivan Fischer.

  • skippy says:

    And there’s Andris Nelsons, conducting all over Europe, completely ignoring Boston. Why does the BSO put up with this? The guy clearly as little interest in his “side gig” and the BSO deserves a full-time music director. Moreover, the city of Boston could use a BSO music director who evinces some interest in the community whose support the orchestra must have if, in the long run, it is to survive.

    My own personal preference would be Thomas Wilkins, who actually lives in Boston, has roots there, and would be dynamite in terms of engaging kids in schools, etc., which is what’s going to have to happen, and soon, in a big way, if classical music is to have any kind of future in the U.S. But whomever the BSO chooses, it should be someone with a commitment to the community. Nelsons has none. Time for the organization to let him go.

    • Alan O'Connor says:

      Is Nelsons even entitled to be in the US at the moment? And for what reason? Are there concerts for him to conduct? work to do?

      And quite frankly as THE Corona basket case of the world why would he go there even if there was work to do?

      • Skippy says:

        Well, first of all, Boston is not the “corona basket case of the world.” If anything, Brussels is. (The EU overall is in worse shape than the US, btw). Secondly, yes, the BSO is doing stuff, and it’s Thomas Wilkins and Ken-David Masur who are leading the proceedings.

        Really, there’s no excuse. Boston should dump Nelsons, who’s not even that interesting a musician, anyway.

        • Tourte says:

          The soon-former US president signed an executive order when the virus started meaning no visas can be processed until the end of the year, so Nelsons just can’t get a visa to come work in the US for now. By the way, what makes you the voice of the Boston music community as a whole? I don’t remember voting for you.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Oh brother…

      The BSO is not holding concerts. There have been a few one-offs, but basically they are on hiatus. There would be little to be gained for Nelsons to be here other than for imagery. He can actually do some work in Europe right now, PLUS last time I checked Europe is not letter people in from the U.S. This whole post is much ado about nothing. I actually live in Boston, I actually am a BSO subscriber, and I hear Nelsons regularly. His concerts are typically musical and enjoyable, even if he’s still young and still has a lot of artistic growth ahead of him. But we are very fortunate to have him here in Boston in my opinion.

      • Edgar says:

        Agree. Even more so, I think that Andris is extremely fortunate to be tutored by Mark Volpe and Anthony Fogg.

        Of course it would be nice to have Andris around in Boston and be more visible to the community. Yet, in my opinion, that would mean a much deeper discussion about the position of Music Director in general.

        I always quip that conductors are like God: they are omnipresent. Thank heavens they don’t bilocate (yet).
        Maybe the lesson to be learned from Covid is to significantly scale back on traveling, and commit to one main position substantially?

        The increasing questioning of the business of touring is quite interesting.

        Who knows where things will lead.

      • Skippy says:

        I, too, live in Boston…unlike Nelsons. The man has near-zero presence in the community. He clearly has no interest playing the local ambassadorial role. That’s his right, of course, but it’s also the BSO’s loss.

        Subjectively, I think he’s a bore of a musician. But that’s neither here nor there, I suppose. The orchestra’s great. The hall’s magic. I get through his concerts by ignoring him and focusing on that.

    • fflambeau says:

      If it is to survive? The BSO has the largest musical endowment in the world.

      • Edgar says:

        True, but that endowment is there for a reason. To produce the interest income which in turn finances things. Using endowment money is something which can only be done very carefully.

        Aside from this, things overall will only improve the moment Joe Biden actually takes the Oath of Office on January 20, 2021. Rolling out vaccines and getting the people to wear masks is a tough call. Very likely half the population will neither wear a mask nor allow themselves to be vaccinated, as they belong to the Trump cult.

        My most optimistic guess is that we’d be lucky to have the BSO and the Boston Pops and all other bands perform again around Thanksgiving 2021. As I said, my most optimistic guess.