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Ivan FischerPhoto: Marco Borggreve

Following in the footsteps of Placido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel and Quincy Jones, this year Ivan Fischer has been granted the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for his lifetime contribution to the arts.

Iván Fischer, Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, has been presented with the 2015 Abu Dhabi Festival Award, which is bestowed each year on artists who have made an exceptional contribution to culture and the arts.

At the award presentation Iván Fischer was described as one of the world’s most visionary and most successful conductors. The innovative forms of concert that he has introduced during his career (Cocoa Concerts, Surprise Concerts, and uniquely staged opera productions) were also lauded.

The award was granted by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation that supports the arts. H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates and the festival’s patron, presented the award ahead of the Abu Dhabi premiere of the latest opera directed by Iván Fischer, The Magic Flute.

Iván Fischer follows in the footsteps of such international stars as Placido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Quincy Jones and José Antonio Abreu, who are all previous laureates of the award.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra gave its first concert in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in the orchestra’s 30-year history. The world’s best orchestras, soloists and productions are invited to the festival, which is held in the Auditorium of the Emirates Palace luxury hotel. The aim is to present the cultures of East and West and forge links between them.