São Paulo Symphony Orchestra appoints new music director

Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer has been appointed music director of São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP). He takes up the post in March 2020, succeeding Marin Alsop.

Fischer has been music director of the Utah Symphony since 2009 and will finish his final term in summer 2022. He has also been principal guest conductor of Seoul Philharmonic since 2017.

Fischer’s first concert as music director will be on 9 July on the 20th anniversary of the opening of the orchestra’s home, Sala São Paulo. He is set to conduct Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis as part of the OSESP’s Beethoven 250 cycle.

“For me it was a coup de foudre,” Commented Fischer. “I was instantly excited by these players who have an infectious ambition to be the best example of what an orchestra can be in the 21st century. Their embrace of projects that challenge them and their attitude in approaching anything asked of them is fed by living in this great, vibrant, audacious, creative city.”

Fischer will conduct the orchestra for eight weeks in this first year and for 12 weeks a year thereafter. In 2020, he will conduct Beethoven’s first eight symphonies, with Alsop conducting the Ninth Symphony in her last concert as music director.

Alsop has been credited with raising the quality of OSESP’s playing and leading it to major concerts at BBC Proms and Berlin Philharmonie Hall. She recently took the orchestra to China, making it the first South American orchestra to tour there. Once Alsop steps down she will become conductor emeritus.

Marcelo Lopes, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra’s executive director, commented, “In Thierry Fischer we know we have found the right music director to continue and expand on the great work done by Marin Alsop who everyone at São Paulo Symphony Orchestra thanks for her invaluable contribution over the last eight years.”