Simon Fischer


At a glance

Simon Fischer


Only the most ambitious violinist could attempt all three of Brahms’s Sonatas in the one recital, and only an unusually gifted one could play them as well as did Simon Fischer.
The Times (London)

Simon Fischer is recognised as one of the pre-eminent musicians of our time, enjoying a distinguished and wide-ranging career as a performer, educator and recording artist.

Biography —

Simon Fischer is recognized as one of the pre-eminent musicians of our time, enjoying a distinguished and wide-ranging career as a performer, teacher and recording artist.

As a recitalist he has performed in the UK, the USA, Europe and Australia, at venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. Alongside standard repertoire he delights audiences by performing his own transcriptions of famous works by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Johann Strauss, Rossini and Purcell.

He has frequently played as soloist or concertmaster with major orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber and the Ulster Orchestra, working with celebrated conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Charles Groves, Richard Hickox, Andrew Litton, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and André Previn. As a chamber musician he has played with many groups including the Endymion Ensemble, Chandos Players, and the Kreutzer Piano Trio. He was also leader of the Chamber Group of Scotland, with whom he gave many broadcasts and concerts of contemporary music, and worked closely with composers such as Sally Beamish and James MacMillan. He has directed the European Union Chamber Orchestra on several tours including to Korea, China and Ireland.

Simon Fischer is acknowledged as having a place amongst the world’s elite teachers. In 2014 he was awarded the European String Teachers Association prize “in celebration of a lifetime contribution to String Teaching”.

Having studied in London with Yfrah Neaman, whose teachers included Carl Flesch and Jacques Thibaud, and in New York with Dorothy DeLay, student of Ivan Galamian, Fischer’s approach unites the best elements of the French, Russian and American violin traditions. He is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music, and for 15 years was also professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he is now a visiting consultant. In addition he taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School for 17 years, as well as at two other specialist music schools, Wells Cathedral and the Purcell.

Fischer’s published work greatly influences the teaching of the violin. His monthly articles in The Strad magazine, which ran for 24 years, attracted a worldwide following. Published by Edition Peters, his technique books Basics and Practice (translated into German, Italian, Korean and Japanese), and Scales (also in German), and The Violin Lesson, and his DVD The Secrets of Tone Production, have all become standards on many continents. His book and DVD Warming Up (translated into Spanish, German and Korean, and also transcribed for viola), was described by The Strad as “23 pages of pure technical gold”. His latest book Scales for Viola, published in 2017, is a transcription of the violin Scales, which is a new method of unprecedented scope.

In conjunction with his playing engagements he frequently gives masterclasses, workshops and leads residencies. Recent residencies have taken place in the USA, Holland, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany and Australia. Simon Fischer plays a violin by Peter Guarnerius of Venice from c. 1732.

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  • Robin Tyson