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Utah Symphony names new music director



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Symphony made a big announcement Thursday, naming a new music director. Thierry Fischer is the seventh in the orchestra's 70-year history.

The symphony management said Fischer has actually been music director since Sept. 1, but because of a very busy schedule this is the first chance he's had to visit Salt Lake recently.

Fischer is internationally recognized for his fresh approach to even the classics. He is currently principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and chief conductor of the Nagoya, Japan Philharmonic.

On Thursday, Fischer added another title, receiving a warm welcome as the new music director of the Utah Symphony. He said many factors weighed into his decision: he enjoys working with the orchestra, loves Abravanel Hall, likes Utah--from Switzerland, he is a skier-- and appreciates the cultural atmosphere of Salt Lake.

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Thierry Fischer, a renowned conductor from Geneva, Switzerland, is currently the Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic in Japan. He studied the flute and began his musical career as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera. He first began conducting in his 30s and has appeared with many leading orchestras in the U.K. and Europe. He twice guest conducted the Utah Symphony in the past two seasons.
"When you travel around, even in America, not many not many orchestras are lucky as to have such a fantastic hall, a way of developing my imagination with this community, with this orchestra, with this organization" Fischer said. "It gave me some sort of natural courage and made me really look forwart to starting." And Fisher plans to continue and support the Utah Symphony's educational program. The 12-member search committee, musicians, management and community leaders voted unanimously for Fischer.

"I think this choice of Thierry Fischer is absolutely spectacular. We're very fortunate to have a man of his stature and talent here," said Craig Jessop, who is a member of the Utah Symphony Search Committee.

Carolyn Abravanel, widow of the orchestra's beloved maestro, was an invited guest.

We deserve the best, and I think the Utah Symphony has worked hard to find that conductor. And I can only say I wish him the very, very best," Abravanel said.

Starting next season, Fischer will be here for at least twelve weeks conducting. Utahns will have an opportunity to see him perform with the Utah Symphony on Jan. 29 and 30.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

Carole Mikita

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