The Maurice Abravanel Chair, endowed by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Thierry Fischer has been the Music Director of the Utah Symphony since 2009 and will become Music Director Emeritus in the summer of 2023. He has held the same position with the São Paulo Symphony since 2019.
In recent seasons he has conducted orchestras across the globe, notably the Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Cincinnati Symphonies; the London, Royal, Oslo, and Rotterdam Philharmonics; Maggio Musicale Firenze; Salzburg Mozarteumorchester; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; and leading chamber orchestras such as Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Swedish Chamber, Ensemble Contemporain, and London Sinfonietta. He has performed and commissioned many world premieres.
Fischer was active throughout the pandemic conducting concerts for live and virtual audiences during his inaugural season in São Paulo including Stravinsky’s ballets, Beethoven’s symphonies, and the latter’s Missa Solemnis. Other highlights of 2020–21 included the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall and on Marquee TV, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, and return visits to the Bournemouth Symphony and Brussels Philharmonic orchestras.
During his tenure in Utah, Fischer has led the orchestra’s first appearance in Carnegie Hall in 40 years. He recorded several albums for Reference Recordings: Mahler’s Symphonies 1 and 8 (the latter with the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square) and a CD of newly commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. Most recently Hyperion Records has released the complete Saint-Saëns symphonies with Fischer and Utah Symphony, to critical acclaim; they also plan to record Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles, to be performed in the breathtaking canyons of Utah that inspired the piece.
While Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006–12, Fischer appeared every year at the BBC Proms, toured internationally, and recorded for Hyperion, Signum, and Orfeo. In 2012 he won the ICMA Award for his Hyperion CD of Frank Martin’s Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. In 2014 he released a Beethoven disc with the London Philharmonic on the Aparte label.
Fischer started out as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera. His conducting career began in his 30s when he replaced an ailing colleague, subsequently directing his first few concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe where he was Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado. He spent his apprentice years in Holland and became Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2001–06. He was Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic from 2017–20 and Chief Conductor (now Honorary Guest) of the Nagoya Philharmonic from 2008–11.
Clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music's most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. He serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—that orchestra's first African-American principal player—and maintains a dynamic international solo and chamber music career. Hailed for his "trademark brilliance, penetrating sound, and rich character" (The New York Times) , as well as for his "exquisite combination of technical refinement and expressive radiance" (The Baltimore Sun), McGill also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music. He was honored to take part in the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero.
In 2015, McGill recorded the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto together with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. He and his brother, Demarre McGill, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra's principal flutist, joined the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras with conductor Allen Tinkham, to record Winged Creatures, an album of works for flute, clarinet, and orchestra including world-premiere recordings of duo concertos like the title track by African-American composer Michael Abels (Cedille Records). His Portraits, recorded with Demarre McGill and pianist Michael McHale, and Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets, with the Pacifica Quartet, were both released on Cedille Records.
McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras around North America including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. As a chamber musician, McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takacs, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. He has led tours with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly performs for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Festival appearances include Tanglewood, Marlboro, Mainly Mozart, Music@Menlo, and the Santa Fe, Seattle, and Skaneateles Chamber Music Festivals.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, McGill previously served as the principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera and associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In-demand as a teacher, he serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College's Conservatory of Music. He also serves as the Artistic Advisor for the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School, on the Board of Directors for both the League of American Orchestra and the Harmony Program, and the advisory council for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York.