Fischer looks to maintain freshness at Budapest Festival Orchestra

Posted on: April 19, 2013

In Thursday’s (4/18) Telegraph (London), Ivan Hewett writes, “If there’s one musician who exemplifies the European ideal, it’s surely the Hungarian-born, Swiss-and-German educated, multilingual, globe-trotting conductor Ivan Fischer. … Hungary’s great cultural calling card at the moment is undoubtedly the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which Fischer founded 30 years ago. The name reflects the fact that the orchestra was the centrepiece of the new Budapest Spring Festival. But it’s long since outgrown the festival, and is now reckoned to be among the world’s finest symphony orchestras. … [Fischer is] constantly looking ahead, and also around at the wider orchestral scene. ‘We have this strange situation where the period ensembles have taken over the really early music, say up to Mozart,’ he says. ‘And on the other side you have new music ensembles who play only that. The standard orchestras find that their repertoire is always shrinking. … One way in which I try to encourage creativity is limiting the number of weeks each player has with the main orchestra, so they can spend some time on their own projects. … It’s all a matter of keeping routine away, and in that respect I like to think we start where other orchestras stop.’ ”

Posted April 19, 2013