The Fischer Duo consists of husband-and-wife cellist Norman Fischer (born 1949 in Washington, D.C.) and pianist Jeanne Kierman. The duo has a broad repertory extending from the Classical period to material newly commissioned from several generations of contemporary composers. The duo was founded in 1971. Norman Fischer was a student of Richard Kapuscinski and Bernard Greenhouse, among others, and graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and taught there as well as at Dartmouth College before taking up a long-term position at Rice University. He has also performed with the Concord String Quartet. A notable feature of the Fischer Duo's performance history has been a pair of tours as official Artistic Ambassadors -- one in South America and another of South Africa, organized by the United States Information Agency. The duo's advocacy of contemporary music has centered on new commissions from about 30 composers, including works by major names such as Augusta Read Thomas and George Rochberg. A complete recording of cello music by William Bolcom gained acclaim even beyond the U.S. The Fischer Duo has also specialized in the recovery of neglected cello-and-piano music by 20th century composers, including Ferruccio Busoni, Arthur Foote, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Franco Alfano, and Nadia Boulanger. The effort extends back into the 19th century, with performances and a recording of the complete works for cello and piano by Chopin and Liszt, neither known for chamber music. Another unusual Fischer Duo recording was Born in America 1938, comprising exclusively music of composers born that year: Bolcom, John Corigliano, Ellsworth Milburn, John Harbison, Joan Tower, and Charles Wuorinen. The duo has recorded for the Gasparo, Northeastern, Bridge, and Centaur labels; they issued a recording of Brahms' Cello Sonatas on the latter label in 2018. They have also recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven's cello-and-piano music, including early works. ~ James Manheim
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