Fresh on the heels of the recent appointments of American David Robertson as the next Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and American Joseph Colaneri as the new Musical Director of the West Australian Opera, comes two further and most welcome and exciting appointments.
Asher Fisch has just been announced as the next Chief Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra taking over from current incumbent Paul Daniel in 2014.
Sir Andrew Davis is strongly rumoured to take up the position of Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, a position that has lay vacant for some 3 years following the departure of Oleg Caetani in 2009.
Born in Israel, Asher Fisch (pictured above) began his career as an assistant to Daniel Barenboim and an associate conductor of the Berlin State Opera unter den Linden. He is particularly celebrated for his interpretations of operas and concert repertoire of the Romantic age. As a former Music Director of Vienna’s Volksoper and the New Israeli Opera, Fisch was appointed to the post of principal guest conductor of Seattle Opera in 2008. He is closely associated with the Vienna State Opera, where he has conducted performances of FALSTAFF and DER ROSENKAVALIER. Asher Fisch is also a regular guest on the Staatskapelle rostrum, both in the orchestral pit and on the concert stage. His most recent appearance was in April 2010 at a special Staatskapelle concert to mark the 450th anniversary of the founding of Dresden’s State Art Collections. Mr Fisch was the conductor of the much lauded State Opera of South Australia 2004 DER RING DAS NIBELUNGEN which was recorded complete on the Melba Recordings label. During the 2010-11 season Mr. Fisch conducted a new production of Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA at Chicago’s Lyric Opera, as well as Wagner’s TANHAUSER at the Seattle Opera. In Europe, he led revivals of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE at the Dresden Semperoper and AIDA at the Bayerischer Staatsoper, and premiered a new production of SALOME at Opéra de Monte Carlo. He also conducted the seldom-performed Martinu opera THE GREEK PASSION at Teatro Massimo, and THE TALES OF HOFFMAN at the Nagoya Festival.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janácek, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers’ works. Sir Andrew is renowned for his performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, boasting the longest tenure as its chief since Sir Adrian Boult. He also served as music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and now holds the title of Music Director and Principal Conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In the 2011-2012 season Maestro Davis conducted BORIS GUDONOV, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, and THE MAGIC FLUTE at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His engagements elsewhere in 2011-12 included the Besançon Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera (DON GIOVANNI), BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company (EINE FLORENTINISCHE TRAGODIE and GIANNI SCHICCHI), Santa Fe Opera (ARABELLA), the Bergen Festival (LA DAMNATION DE FAUST). Other recent conducting appearances include CAPRICCIO at the Metropolitan Opera, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS for the Canadian Opera Company, PETER GRIMES at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and RUSALKA for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Both appointments are of the highest standard. Australia, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra have done well with these appointments, but also it speaks volumes about the standard of our orchestras in Australia, that these exciting musicians are attracted here to make excellent music.