WASO announces extended contract for Principal Conductor Asher Fisch until 2023

Asher Fisch
West Australian Symphony Orchestra

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra are proud to announce the continuation of their outstanding musical partnership with Principal Conductor Asher Fisch, whose contract has now been extended by a further four years until 2023. This extension will take Maestro Fisch's tenure as Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of WASO, which began in 2014, to 10 years. In 2015 Asher extended his initial three-year contract through to the end of the 2019 season, and today's announcement represents a further significant extension.  

In announcing the contract extension, WASO Chairman Janet Holmes à Court said, "Asher's leadership has utterly transformed our Orchestra, eliciting remarkable and thrilling performances that have received critical acclaim both nationally and internationally." 

"From the outset Asher has been focused on the long game, developing specific facets of the Orchestra through his selection of repertoire. His programming of a Beethoven Festival in 2014, Brahms Festival in 2015, and current Wagner Festival are all part of this strategy. I'm thrilled that he can now extend his vision for WASO until 2023 and continue evolving this remarkable relationship."  

"We are profoundly privileged to have Asher on board for a further four years, as I believe that his appointment in 2014 has been the most important artistic decision in the company's 90 year history" said Craig Whitehead, Chief Executive of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. "He is in demand by the leading opera houses and concert halls across the US, Europe and Asia, but remains intensely committed to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. This blossoming relationship has yielded exceptional results, including the Orchestra's first international tour in 10 years, and I look forward to many more years of extraordinary music-making under his leadership."

"I am delighted to have extended my contract with WASO," said Principal Conductor Asher Fisch. "I am enjoying our musical journey immensely, and we have achieved a great deal, but I have my sights on new challenges in 2018 and beyond, and I have great confidence in what we can achieve together in the years to come."  

About Asher Fisch

His former posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Seattle Opera (2007-2013), Music Director of the New Israeli Opera (1998-2008), and the Wiener Volksoper (1995-2000).

A renowned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds, Mr. Fisch is especially celebrated for his interpretative command of core German and Italian repertoire of the Romantic and post-Romantic era. He conducts a wide variety of repertoire from Gluck to contemporary works by living composers.

Mr. Fisch has long maintained enduring ties to the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich) and in the 2015-16 season conducts five titles including Werther and Manon Lescaut. He also returns to the Teatro Regio di Torino to conduct Carmen. Guest symphony orchestra engagements this season include the Staatskapelle Dresden, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Melbourne Symphony, Nashville Symphony (debut), Milwaukee Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra.

Born in Israel, Mr. Fisch began his conducting career as Daniel Barenboim's assistant and kappellmeister at the Berlin Staatsoper. He has built his versatile repertoire at the major opera houses such as Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, and Semperoper Dresden. Mr. Fisch is also a regular guest conductor at leading American symphony orchestras including those of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and Philadelphia. In Europe he has appeared at the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France, among others.

In 2015 Mr. Fisch's 2013 recording of Wagner's Ring Cycle with the Seattle Opera was released on the Avie label. His first Ring Cycle recording, with the State Opera of South Australia, won ten Helpmann Awards, including best opera and best music direction. Mr. Fisch is also an accomplished pianist and released his first solo disc of Wagner piano transcriptions in 2012.