June 13, 2014 – Grounded Leader of the Week – Ivan Fischer

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014

Share this:

Ivan Fischer Photo: Marco Borggreve

Key Lesson: Leadership is personal. Don’t be afraid to reveal your personal side, your passions and your values.

This week’s Grounded Leader is Grammy award winning composer and conductor Ivan Fischer . Fischer is the founder of one of the world’s leading orchestras, the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Hungarian by birth, he is a Swiss-and-German educated, multilingual man of the world. In addition to his musical career, Fischer has also taken on a new role – social critic – while continuing to innovate musically and to engage younger audiences and musicians.

Fischer is challenging the music world by re-shaping how orchestras engage and grow both their audiences and their musicians. He is more concerned with the art of making music than maintaining the status quo. In a recent New Yorker interview, Fischer expressed his pessimism regarding the future of the orchestra business, “They have become too big. Like dinosaurs, they must feed themselves all the time. And the real problem is that they are no longer organizations where real music-making happens. Instead, they exist to satisfy others needs. They satisfy a necessity for job security among musicians; they satisfy a kind of career mania for soloists and conductors; and they satisfy a small margin of society that likes to go out and be seen…”

Some of Fischer’s  innovations include breaking down the barriers between musicians and audience members, offering late night concerts for younger fans,  and striving to keep his orchestra small and agile, like “a tiger…or some small mammal.” The orchestra also has less structure. There is no union, for example, so musicians are free to pursue other musical opportunities. This freedom to seek artistic fulfillment means his musicians return “refreshed”.

Fischer is not only shaking up music but politics as well. The BBC recently labeled Fischer one of Europe’s troublemakers. Through his music, Fischer is holding up a mirror to Hungarian society asking them to confront entrenched anti-Semitism, intolerance and prejudice. Concerned with Hungary’s growing nationalist movement and mistrust of Europe and the West, Fischer uses his celebrity to challenge racism and fear of differences. He uses culture to expose racial intolerance.

His one act opera “The Red Heifer”, addresses a shameful episode in Hungarian history and was composed as a rebuke to what he sees as growing acceptance of anti-Semitism in today’s Hungary. The opera premiered in Budapest in October 2013. Speaking to the New York Times, Fischer said, “Culture shouldn’t be interested in day-to-day politics … But I think culture has a strong responsibility to find the essence, the real concealed truth which lies behind the day to day.”

Fischer, who is Jewish, has direct experience with racial intolerance. His father survived the Second World War by posing as the son of non-Jewish friends. The false identity papers, which saved his father from the concentration camps, are displayed in the Fischer family apartment in Budapest (The New Yorker, June 2, 2014, page 37).  While many other Hungarian artists refuse to live in Hungary in protest of  the current government, Fischer is committed to the Budapest Festival Orchestra and spends much of his time in the country.  His wife and two sons, however, now live in Berlin, reflecting how serious he is taking the rise of the far right in Hungarian politics.

Ivan Fischer is our Grounded Leader for his authenticity and his willingness to be true to himself by standing up to intolerance while pushing an industry to reinvent and adapt itself to a changing world.

About The Red Heifer Opera
httpv://youtu.be/QZC3eWFd86U

Share this:

16 Comments

  1. gamefly free trial
    June 1, 2019

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy
    on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable
    for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer
    to create your theme? Excellent work!

  2. gamefly free trial
    June 1, 2019

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped
    me. Thanks a lot!

  3. gamefly free trial
    June 2, 2019

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my
    iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, awesome blog!

  4. gamefly free trial
    June 3, 2019

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly return.

  5. gamefly free trial
    June 4, 2019

    It’s very easy to find out any matter on net as compared to books,
    as I found this post at this web site.

  6. gamefly free trial
    June 5, 2019

    Good day! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have got here on this post.
    I am coming back to your site for more soon.

  7. gamefly free trial
    June 6, 2019

    I appreciate, cause I found just what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye

  8. gamefly free trial
    June 8, 2019

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  9. best ps4 games 2019
    June 8, 2019

    My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
    You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  10. tinyurl.com
    June 8, 2019

    Good way of telling, and good paragraph to get facts on the topic of my presentation subject, which i am going to deliver in institution of higher education.

  11. tinyurl.com
    June 9, 2019

    Hello there, I discovered your site by means of Google whilst searching
    for a comparable matter, your website came up, it seems great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply became aware of your blog through Google,
    and located that it is truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels.
    I will appreciate in the event you proceed this in future.
    A lot of other people shall be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  12. playstation 4 best games ever made 2019
    June 12, 2019

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker
    who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me lunch simply because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your
    web site.

  13. quest bars cheap
    June 14, 2019

    I’m now not sure where you’re getting your info, however great topic.
    I must spend some time finding out much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  14. quest bars cheap
    June 14, 2019

    Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the fantastic work!

  15. quest bars
    June 16, 2019

    Can I just say what a relief to discover someone that truly knows what
    they’re talking about on the net. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people really need to read this and understand this side of the story.
    I can’t believe you aren’t more popular since you most certainly have the gift.

  16. http://tinyurl.com
    June 17, 2019

    We stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I
    may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page for
    a second time.

Leave a Reply