Iván Fischer is the founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, as well as the Honorary Conductor of the Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester Berlin. In recent years he has also gained a reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Austria. What is more, he has directed a number of successful opera productions.
The BFO’s frequent worldwide tours, and a series of critically-acclaimed and fast-selling records released first by Philips Classics and later by Channel Classics, have contributed to Iván Fischer’s reputation as one of the world’s most high-profile music directors. The Berlin Philharmonic has played more than ten times under Fischer’s baton, and he also spends two weeks every year with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is also a frequent guest of the leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. As a Music Director, he has led the Kent Opera and the Opéra National de Lyon, and was Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC. Many of his recordings have been awarded prestigious international prizes. He studied piano, violin, and later the cello and composition in Budapest, before continuing his education in Vienna where he studied Conducting under Hans Swarowsky. Iván Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and Patron of the British Kodály Academy, Honorary Citizen of Budapest. He has 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 in promoting international cultural relations. The government of the French Republic made him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honoured with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Hungary’s Prima Primissima Prize and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013 he was accorded Honorary Membership to the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2015, he was presented with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2016 he won the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for Best Foreign Conductor.