Conductor

Thierry Fischer

Symphony Music Director

Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and currently extended to 2019, Thierry Fischer has revitalized the orchestra with creative programming, critically acclaimed performances, and new recordings. Highlights of his tenure include a multi-season Haydn symphony cycle; Mahler, Beethoven and Nielsen cycles; and a tour of Utah’s five national parks.  In celebration of its 75th anniversary season, the orchestra appeared at Carnegie Hall in April 2016 to critical acclaim and released an album of newly commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas on Reference Recordings.  Following a well-reviewed Mahler 1 CD, they recorded Mahler’s 8th symphony in Utah with the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir, due for release later this season. 

In September 2016 Fischer was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, starting January 2017 and running concurrently with his Utah position for an initial 3 years.  He will visit Seoul at least 4 times a season and will play an important role in the artistic planning.   

In Summer 2016 Fischer toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and debuted at the Mostly Mozart Festival New York and at the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence.  Earlier in the season he conducted the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall.  Guesting in the past couple of years has also included Boston Symphony, Atlanta, Cincinatti and Detroit Symphonies, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, Munich Chamber, Swedish Chamber and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as the BBC Symphony at the Barbican and the London Sinfonietta.  In Autumn 2016 he conducts the Sao Paulo Philharmonic - his first visit to South America. 

Whilst Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2006-2012 Fischer appeared every year at the BBC Proms and toured internationally.  He also made many recordings, notably for Hyperion (Honegger, d’Indy, Florent  Schmitt) but also Stravinsky for Signum and Orfeo.  His Hyperion recording of Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus won the International Classical Music Award in 2012 (opera category). 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 2001-2006. He was Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 20082011, making his Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo in May 2010, and is now Honorary Guest Conductor.

Thierry Fischer is represented by Intermusica.

www.thierryfischer.com

 

Conner Gray Covington

Assistant Conductor

Conner Gray Covington was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Utah Symphony, a position he begins with the 2017-2018 season. In June of 2017, he completed his tenure as the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he worked closely with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the Curtis Opera Theater while also being mentored by Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra sharing the podium with Ludovic Morlot. Covington began his career as Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. A two-time recipient (2017 and 2014) of a Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., he recently worked with the Nashville Symphony as a featured conductor in the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview presented by the League of American Orchestras.

Covington has also worked with the St. Louis Symphony, Utah Symphony, and Virginia Symphony as a guest conductor and has served as a cover conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, The Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee, WI), and the Britt Festival Orchestra (Jacksonville, OR). In 2015, Covington was invited as one of three conductors to participate in the Pacific Music Festival Conducting Academy in Sapporo, Japan. He has also worked with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich as part of the 6th International David Zinman Conducting Masterclass. In 2014, Covington was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic to attend the Salzburg Festival as a recipient of the Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors. In 2012, Covington competed in the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he conducted the Danish National Symphony for a jury headed by Lorin Maazel and was the youngest participant to advance to the third round. He was invited back to compete in the 2015 Malko Competition for a jury headed by Sakari Oramo. Covington also worked with the New Japan Philharmonic in the 2012 Tokyo International Conducting Competition and advanced to the semi-final round.

In the summers of 2011 and 2012, Covington attended the Aspen Music Festival as a fellowship student in the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. There he worked closely with Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, and Hugh Wolff as well as other guest conductors throughout the summer. Covington has also conducted the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in a masterclass with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and for two summers studied with Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors.

Born in Louisiana, Covington grew up in East Tennessee and began playing the violin at age 11. He completed high school at the renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. He then went on to study violin with Dr. Martha Walvoord and conducting with Dr. Clifton Evans at the University of Texas at Arlington where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in violin performance. He continued his studies with Neil Varon at the Eastman School of Music where earned a MM in orchestral conducting and was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize.