Ivan Fischer is founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Music Director of the Konzerthaus and the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin. Recently he has also been active as a composer: his works have been performed in the US, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Austria. He also staged successful opera performances, recently a Mozart cycle in Budapest and New York.
The 30 year-old partnership with the Budapest Festival Orchestra has become one of the greatest success stories of classical music. Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics, later for Channel Classics have contributed to Iván Fischer's reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders.
Both in Berlin and Budapest he has developed and introduced new types of concerts, "cocoa-concerts" for young children, "surprise" concerts where the programme is announced from the stage, "public dress rehearsals" where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts attracting tens of thousands of people and "staged concerts" combining concert and theatre. He has founded several festivals, including one composer marathons, the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new compositions and the Bridging Europe Festival.
As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, he leads every year two weeks of programs with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and appears with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Earlier music director of Kent Opera and Lyon Opera, Principal Conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, his numerous recordings have won several prestigious international prizes.
Ivan Fischer studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest, continuing his education in Vienna in Professor Hans Swarowsky's conducting class.
Mr. Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary's most prestigious arts award. He is honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Award and the Dutch Ovatie prize. In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.