Iván Fischer is the founder and music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra as well as music director of Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Konzerthaus Orchestra. In recent years he has also gained a reputation as a composer, with his works being performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, and Austria. He has also directed a number of successful opera productions. The Budapest Festival Orchestra’s frequent worldwide tours and a series of critically-acclaimed and fast-selling records, released first by Philips Classics and later by Channel Classics, have contributed to Iván Fischer’s reputation as one of the world’s most high-profile music directors. The Berlin Philharmonic has played more than ten times under Mr. Fischer’s baton, and he also spends two weeks every year with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is also a frequent guest of the leading U.S. symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra. As a music director, he has led Kent Opera and Opéra national de Lyon, and was principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Many of his recordings have been awarded prestigious international prizes. Iván Fischer studied piano, violin, and later the cello and composition in Budapest, before continuing his education in Vienna. where he studied conducting under Hans Swarowsky. He is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society and patron of the British Kodály Academy. He has received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services in promoting international cultural relations. The government of the French Republic made Mr. Fischer Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, proclaiming him a Knight of the Order of Art and Literature. Other honors include the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award (2006); the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Hungary’s Prima Primissima Prize, and the Dutch Ovatie Prize (all in 2011); Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music in London (2013); the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement (2015); the Association of Music Critics of Argentina’s award for Best Foreign Conductor (2016).