Iván Fischer Appointed as Music Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra

Iván Fischer has been appointed music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), the orchestra announced on Wednesday.

In addition, Iván Fischer will continue as Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO), which he founded, and will also serve as honorary guest conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

Iván Fischer succeeds Vasily Petrenko as Music Director of the EUYO. Making the announcement, Marshall Marcus, Executive & Artistic Director of the EUYO, praised the prospects that the new leader, “Iván Fischer’s talent, creativity and humanity”, will open up for young musicians on the continent.

In his role as Music Director,

Iván Fischer will be involved in the planning of the orchestra’s auditions, artistic training and performances, in close collaboration with the Executive & Artistic Director.

The EUYO will give its first concerts under the direction of Iván Fischer at the orchestra’s concert home and regular summer guest venue in Grafenegg, Austria in August 2024. On the following tour, they will perform in New York at Carnegie Hall’s World Orchestra Week (WOW!) and at the Bolzano Festival Bozen.

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The EUYO has been running a joint scholarship program with the BFO for a decade.

Iván Fischer and the two orchestras agreed to jointly establish the European Orchestra Academy (EOA).

The Academy will train future orchestral leaders and promote concerts. The training will be part of a series of performances in all EU Member States.

The first project involving the Academy’s students will be a joint concert in September by musicians from the BFO and the EUYO at the Bridging Europe festival in Brussels and Budapest, the capitals of the two countries holding the 2024 presidencies of the Council of the European Union, Belgium and Hungary.


Iván Fischer was born in Budapest in 1951. He studied piano, violin, cello, and composition in Budapest. He later moved to Vienna to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the University of Music and Performing Arts, where he also studied cello and early music. His older brother, Ádám Fischer, became a conductor in his own right.

Fischer won the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition in London in 1976. He subsequently became a guest conductor with British orchestras such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, and the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he conducted a world tour in 1982. In the United States, he made his conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1983. Fischer returned to Hungary in 1983, to found the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO), which was initially intended for a limited number of concerts a year on a part-time basis. The BFO became a permanent institution in 1992, and held concerts for around 30 weeks each year.

In 2006, he was awarded Hungary’s most prestigious artistic honor, the Kossuth Prize. In 2011, Fischer received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Prize and the Dutch Ovatie Prize. In 2013, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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Via MTI; Featured image via Facebook/BFZ – Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar

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