The Maurice Abravanel Chair, endowed by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Thierry Fischer has been Music Director of the Utah Symphony since 2009, has held the same position with the São Paulo Symphony since 2020, and takes up his post as Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in September 2022.
In recent seasons he has conducted orchestras across the globe, notably the Cleveland Orchestra—where he returns this autumn—also the Boston, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies; London Philharmonic; Royal Philharmonic; Oslo Philharmonic; Rotterdam Philharmonic Maggio Musicale Firenze among others.
Fischer closes his tenure in Utah with Mahler’s all-embracing 3rd Symphony, featuring the women of the Tabernacle Choir. This follows on their recording together of Mahler’s 8th symphony (released in 2017 on Reference Records, after Mahler 1 in 2015 and a disc of newly commissioned works by American composers in 2015). In this farewell season he has also chosen to celebrate Messiaen’s music with a performance of Turangalîla and the release on Hyperion in 2023 of his Des canyons aux étoiles (directly inspired by the breathtaking landscape of Utah). After a transformative 14 years in Utah, including the orchestra’s visit to Carnegie Hall for the first time in 40 years, a Saint-Saëns cycle on Hyperion and many other highlights, Fischer becomes Music Director Emeritus in summer 2023.
While Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2006–2012, 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 recording of Frank Martin’s Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. His discography also includes a Beethoven disc with the London Philharmonic on the Aparté 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 2001–2006. He was Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic 2017–2020 and Chief Conductor (now Honorary Guest) of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2008–2011. Thierry Fischer is represented by Intermusica.
After studying in Essen and Cologne he became Principal Horn of the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and engagements followed with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin before, in 1993, he finally became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a soloist he has collaborated with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, and Sir Simon Rattle. Along with the Classical and Romantic horn repertoire, he is also interested in contemporary works by Ligeti, Knussen, and Kirchner. Dohr has premiered many horn concertos dedicated to him, including those by Herbert Willi (2008), Jorge E. López (2009), Johannes Wallmann (2010), Toshio Hosokawa (2011), and Wolfgang Rihm (2014). He is also a member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, the Philharmonic Octet, and the Horns of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Dohr, who prefers to spend his free time with his family, has taught as a visiting professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin and at the Orchestra Academy.
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edmund Rollett joined the Utah Symphony in 2014 as Associate Principal Horn, and served as Acting Principal Horn for six seasons. He appears regularly with the Grand Teton Music Festival, and has held Principal positions in the National Symphony of Mexico, and the Mexico City Philharmonic. In addition to serving as horn faculty at Westminster College, Rollett is a noted solo and chamber musician, concertizing in Mexico, Europe and throughout the intermountain West. He is a frequent collaborator on the Intermezzo and NOVA chamber series, notably including the Utah premiere and second-ever performance of Last Autumn, Michael Hersch’s monumental cycle for Horn and Cello, together with Nori Kishi. Rollett was privileged to study horn under several of the world’s great players and pedagogues, in Chicago with Gail Williams and William Barnewitz, and in Pittsburgh with Dennis Abelson and William Caballero. When not on stage, he enjoys time with his wife and two daughters, serving in church, and exploring the beauty of the Wasatch Front in all seasons.
Jessica Danz, from Spanish Fort, Alabama, joined the Utah Symphony as Principal Horn in 2021. She received a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2020 studying with Jennifer Montone, and she holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Social and Emotional Development as well as a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Danz has held fellowships with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, Texas Music Festival, and Pacific Music Festival. Danz was selected as a winner of the 2019 National Repertory Orchestra concerto competition, won first prize at the 2016 Northeast Horn Solo Competition, and was the recipient of the 2018 International Horn Society Jon Hawkins award.
Stephen Proser joined the Utah Symphony in 1992. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Connecticut, Argentina, and England, Proser began his study of the horn at the age of nine under the tutelage of his cousin, Raul Maestro, a professional hornist in Argentina. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, under David Bakkegard, followed by a Master’s degree at Northwestern University under Dale Clevenger. Before coming to Utah, Proser played with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and the Grand Teton Festival, among others. He has also recorded extensively for film and television.
Proser serves on the faculty of University of Utah, where he maintains a large and active teaching studio and is a frequent guest as a chamber musician in Salt Lake City for the Nova, and Intermezzo Chamber Music Series and with University of Utah Faculty Chamber Musicians. He and his wife, Susan Kohler, have two children, Matthias and Helena.