Adam Fischer was born into a family of conductors. His father Sándor Fischer conducted the Budapest Radio Orchestra. His brother Iván, and a cousin, György, are also conductors. The Fischers lived across the street from the Budapest Opera House, and he attended his first concert at the age of five. When Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony was played, he decided to be a conductor so he could make the audience jump. He made his conducting debut at the age of 7, leading an ensemble of children playing toy instruments and singing. He studied at the Budapest School of Music, sang in the children's choir of the Hungarian State Opera, and took the role of the Third Boy in Mozart's Magic Flute. He took higher musical studies at the Vienna State Academy, including studies with Hans Swarowsky. In 1973 he was a co-winner of the first prize in the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition in Milan. Fischer began his conducting career in a traditional manner, with a job as repetiteur at the Vienna State Opera. He had a major break when he took over a scheduled performance of Fidelio in Munich when Karl Böhm became ill, leading to a regular engagement to conduct the new production of Dvorák's Rusalka with Hildegard Behrens. He was principal conductor in Karlsruhe for five years, general music director of Freiburg (1981-1983), and music director of the Kassel Opera (1987-1992). While in Kassel (the site of one of Gustav Mahler's early jobs) he founded an international Gustav Mahler Festival. He is the founder and music director of the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, which plays in the original Esterházy Estate in the very room where Haydn premiered most of his symphonies, and has recorded Haydn's symphonies with them. He has worked in most of the major opera houses and led most of the world's great orchestras. He now lives in Hamburg, Germany, with his wife, Doris; a daughter, Golda; and a son, Aron. In the 1990s he was surprised to meet for the first time relatives living in the United States. In 1999 he became chief conductor of the Danish Radio Sinfonietta and in the following year was named general music director of the National Theater Mannheim. He also made a successful debut conducting the Ring cycle at the 2001 Bayreuth Festival, being asked to return annually for the following three years. He was named the general music director of the Hungarian State Opera in 2007, but resigned in 2010 in protest of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's media laws. He still recorded, appearing on efforts such as Divos & Divas (2009) and Sospiri (2010).
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Classical - Released August 18, 2017 | CAvi-music
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
"The Fourth is Mahler’s most transparent and lyrical symphony – almost a chamber symphony. Probably also due to its rather reduced format, it has been received in unique and contradictory ways. Even during the time when international audiences had practically no knowledge of Mahler’s music, the Fourth remained relatively popular. Today it is regarded as less impressive than the First, Second, Third, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies; from my point of view, however, this stems from an unacceptable misunderstanding. Stylistically, the Fourth poses a truly special challenge I find quite exciting. It is Mahler’s “Pastoral Symphony”. The musical style of the Vienna Secession movement tended to integrate elements of Viennese musical tradition into purely classical works. Many listeners did not take that tendency seriously and branded it as harking back to overbaked ideas (I overheard statements to this effect when I was a child). Of all Mahler’s symphonies, the Fourth is perhaps the one where he puts those Viennese elements most clearly on display. I once even heard the cruel remark that Mahler’s Fourth Symphony amounted to nothing else than the expression of his sadness for not being Schubert. Frankly, this music is everything else but a Schubert imitation. Much of Schubert – and of Haydn – admittedly does resurface here, along with typical Viennese effects including a particular kind of glissando, for instance, and those stylistic means are one of the Fourth’s essential elements. We should therefore perform them in a way that makes them quite noticeable." (from booklet)
Classical - Released August 26, 2016 | CAvi-music
For the first installment of the Mahler Edition on CAvi-music, Adam Fischer leads a live performance of the Symphony No. 7 in E minor, assembled from different concerts in late November 2015. Perhaps the oddest of Mahler's symphonies in its structure and quirky mix of vernacular styles, the piece has been unofficially nicknamed "The Song of the Night," due to its dark first movement, its two Nachtmusiken, and the shadowy Scherzo at its center; only the bright and bumptious Rondo-Finale alleviates the pervasive nocturnal feeling. A conductor less attentive to formal considerations might let this symphony drift into a series of eccentric episodes or pseudo-tone poems, but Fischer maintains a clear sense of momentum through the five movements and firmly keeps the symphony on its "from dusk till dawn" trajectory. The Düsseldorf Symphony plays with skill and precision, keeping together without any signs of fatigue and playing with the commitment and passionate intensity of the world's great Mahler orchestras. This may be a curious way to begin a Mahler cycle, but this Seventh is an excellent indicator of great things to come.
Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 1993 | Nimbus Records
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