Norman Fischer

Norman  Fischer

Norman Fischer

Chamber Music Program Head


Norman Fischer has performed on five continents and in 49 of the 50 United States. After completing his cello studies with Richard Kapuscinski, Claus Adam and Bernard Greenhouse, he first graced the international concert stage as cellist with the Concord String Quartet, a group that won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, an Emmy and several Grammy nominations, and recorded over 40 works on RCA Red Seal, Vox, Nonesuch, Turnabout and CRI. The New York Times recently said, "During its 16 years, the supervirtuosic Concord String Quartet championed contemporary work while staying rooted in the Western tradition."

For over 40 years Mr. Fischer has collaborated with pianist Jeanne Kierman as The Fischer Duo, a group that has served twice as United States Artistic Ambassadors and has toured South America and South Africa, as well as playing recitals throughout the United States. The Fischer Duo is known for its large and varied repertoire. In addition to the classic standard repertoire it has rediscovered old masters from the past and has commissioned many new works. Three recordings were released by Gasparo Records honoring the Duo's commitment to American composers. The first is a CD of Fischer Duo commissions (works by George Rochberg, Augusta Read Thomas, Samuel Jones and Pierre Jalbert) [Gasparo Records [GSCD-349], the second is a collection of cello works written by Robert Sirota [GSCD-350], and the third is a compendium of works by American composers born in 1938 (works by Bolcom, Corigliano, Harbison, Milburn, Tower, Wuorinen) {GSCD-351]. Critical acclaim has been unanimous for the complete music cello and piano music by Chopin and Liszt on Bridge Records [Bridge 9187]. The most recent release is from October 2007 on Naxos of the complete cello music of William Bolcom which has received stellar reviews in The Grammophone, BBC Magazine, The Strad, and American Record Guide. The Fischer Duo has just completed recording the complete music for cello and piano by Beethoven and have been touring with Beethoven cycle concerts across the United States.

In addition to performing the major concerti, Mr. Fischer has premiered and recorded many new scores for cello and orchestra including two recorded with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony by Augusta Read Thomas and Ross Lee Finney. Recitals of unaccompanied cello works have received rave reviews such as "Inspiring" [New York Times] for his New York debut recital of the complete Bach Suites in one evening and "Coruscating" [Boston Globe] for his performance of Golijov's Omaramor at the opening of the 1998 Tanglewood festival. During the 1994 Broadway season, Mr. Fischer's recording of William Bolcom's score was used for the premiere of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass.

His chamber music expertise has led to guest appearances with the American, Audubon, Blair, Cavani, Chester, Chiara, Ciompi, Cleveland, Enso, Emerson, Juilliard, Mendelssohn and Schoenberg string quartets, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, Context, and Houston's Da Camera Society. Mr. Fischer joins pianist Jeanne Kierman and violinist Andrew Jennings as the Concord Trio, a group that has been performing together for over 30 years. Since 2001 Mr. Fischer has shared the artistic leadership of Vermont Musica Viva with Ms. Kierman and violinist Curtis Macomber.

A devoted teacher and mentor to young players, Mr. Fischer has been on the faculty of Dartmouth College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is currently Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Violoncello and Cooreinator of Chamber Music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Since 1985, he has taught at the Tanglewood Music Center (summer home of the Boston Symphony), in Lenox, MA where he holds the position as Coordinator of Chamber Music.