Symphony Music Director
Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra since 2009, Thierry Fischer’s contract has been extended to 2019, thanks to his vibrancy, commitment and energy. He has attracted leading young musicians to join the orchestra and top soloists to come to Utah, has refreshed the programming, drawn consistently full houses, and galvanised community support. In 2015/16 the Utah Symphony celebrates its 75th anniversary with the complete Mahler symphonies in concert, including Mahler 8 with the Mormon Tabernable Choir, and with symphony no.1 released on CD. As a highlight of Utah Symphony’s extensive ongoing commissioning programme, Fischer will lead premieres of new works by Andrew Norman (at Carnegie Hall), and Nico Muhly (accompanied by a video installation from Joshua Higgason), releasing both works on a CD alongside last season’s commission by Read Thomas.
Fischer was Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006-2012, undertaking many tours and appearing every season with them at the BBC Proms, returning in 2014. He also has a busy guesting career – highlights of the past few months have included his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut, and appearances with the Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Detroit Symphony and Atlanta Symphony. In 2015/16 he conducts his first concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (in subscription at the Royal Festival Hall), having recorded a Beethoven CD with them in 2014.
Fischer has made numerous recordings, many of them for Hyperion Records, whose CD with Fischer of Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus was awarded the International Classical Music Award (opera category) in 2012. Other recent Hyperion releases have included Honegger, d’Indy and Florent Schmitt with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales – with whom he has also recorded the Stravinsky ballets for Signum and Stravinsky and Frank Martin concerti with Baiba Skride for Orfeo.
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 2008-2011, making his Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo in May 2010, and is now Honorary Guest Conductor, returning every season.
Thierry Fischer is represented by Intermusica.
Rei Hotoda is rapidly becoming one of America’s most sought after and dynamic artists. She has appeared as a guest conductor with many of today’s leading ensembles, including the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Edmonton, Fort Worth, Toronto, and Winnipeg, as well as the Colorado and St. Louis Symphonies, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, among others. Highlights of Ms. Hotoda’s 2014-15 season include return guest conducting appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, as well as her debut with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
A consummate advocate of new music, Ms. Hotoda has conducted premieres of works by such composers as John Cage, Gene Coleman, Luc Ferrari, Dai Fujikura, and Salvatore Sciarrino, and has championed and recorded compositions by female composers, including Vivian Fung, Jennifer Higdon, and Kotoka Suzuki. Most recently, Ms. Hotoda led the St. Louis Symphony, alongside David Robertson, in the US premiere of John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras, which garnered much critical acclaim.
Prior to her growing achievements as a guest conductor, Ms. Hotoda has served as assistant conductor at several of today’s leading orchestras. Most recently, she completed a three-year tenure as the assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) where she led the ensemble in many diverse series, and played a key role in their ongoing efforts to involve the local community. Ms. Hotoda was also the assistant conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
As an accomplished pianist, Ms. Hotoda has appeared both as a featured soloist and conductor from the piano. She has performed as a soloist conducting from the piano with the Dallas, Edmonton, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras, and, as a soloist, with the Clinton and Muscatine Symphony Orchestras. She has also given solo piano recitals at the Chicago Cultural Center, Ravinia Music Festival, and the University of Illinois.
Ms. Hotoda’s recording credits are wide-ranging, and feature her as both conductor and piano soloist. She has recorded works by Steve Bell, Vivian Fung, Noriko Hisada, Vincent Ho, Nicole Lizée, and Toru Takemitsu. Her CDs have been released on the labels of Centrediscs and Signpost Records.
Her deep knowledge and remarkable versatility on and off the podium have led to several collaborations and special projects. She has worked with such ensembles and artists as the Canadian Brass, Jackie Evancho, Ben Folds, the Indigo Girls, Bridget Kibbey, Guy Maddin, Pink Martini, Idina Menzel, Isabella Rossellini, and Joyce Yang.
Ms. Hotoda is the proud recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2006 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, created by Marin Alsop to mentor women conductors. Additionally, she has received a Peabody Career Development Grant, the Women’s Philharmonic Scholarship, and an Illinois Arts Council International Arts Exchange Grant.
Ms. Hotoda studied conducting with Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music.