Johannes Fischer


© Boris Breuer

Johannes Fischer is celebrated by the press as the sound magician among percussionists. With unimagined ease, impulsive joy of playing and empathy, the versatile artist touches his audience. The 1st prize winner of the ARD Music Competition proves that being a percussionist is not just about fulfilling the cliché of a virtuoso tour de force. Johannes Fischer also effortlessly delights his listeners with the poetic qualities of his instrumentarium, from which he elicits a fascinating variety of magical sounds.
His approach to music is not only from the performer’s point of view, but more comprehensively, including as a composer and improvising instrumentalist. Again and again, he sets out to find the interface between his various fields of activity, which increasingly includes conducting. It is precisely the interaction of this interdisciplinary work that is very inspiring for him. In addition to his international solo activities, which have already taken him to concert halls such as the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York or the Berlin Philharmonie, as well as to numerous orchestras and festivals, his collaboration with other instrumentalists, composers or artists from a wide variety of fields is of particular importance. In his repertoire he cultivates the important works of the 20. and 21st century, including compositions by Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage or Karlheinz Stockhausen, and ensures, as it were, a “fresh air supply” through constant collaboration with contemporary composers, which has already produced some significant works, mostly dedicated to him. His instrumentarium includes countless instruments from all over the world as well as everyday objects, self-made or newly invented instruments.
For Johannes Fischer, the preoccupation with improvisation is quite naturally on the same level as work on composed repertoire. For example, he has improvised with percussionists such as Matthias Kaul and Fritz Hauser, designs new live music for silent films together with Nicholas Rimmer, and is currently working on several full-length solo concepts in conjunction with electronic sounds as well as video projection design for the coming years. Johannes Fischer plays in different chamber music formations, among others with the “eardrum percussion duo”, the “duo d’accord” from Munich, in duo with his wife Nari Hong (flutes) or in the trio Belli-Fischer- Rimmer (trombone, piano, percussion). Together with Nari Hong (flutes, electronics) and Franz Danksagmüller (live electronics, KYMA) he explores experimental psychedelic club sounds in the formation “pulse generator”.
As a composer, he has received commissions from the Crested Butte Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Louvre Paris, the Junge Klangforum Mitte Europa, the Amaryllis Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the BBC, and the Bayerischer Rundfunk, among others. One focus is on instrumental chamber music, occasionally expanded by electronic sound additions or alienations. His CD recordings for OehmsClassics (“Gravity”) and GENUIN classics (“Traces”, “ritual obsessions”) have been highly praised in the international press and received the best reviews. In 2015, his recording of Enjott Schneider’s 2nd Symphony for Solo Percussion and Orchestra with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin was released on WERGO.

He has received numerous awards and scholarships as a percussionist and composer, including prizes at the German University Competition, the German Music Competition and 1st prize and four other special prizes at the 56th ARD International Music Competition in Munich.

He studied with Prof. Bernhard Wulff, Prof. Taijiro Miyazaki and Pascal Pons at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and as a scholarship holder of the Gerd Bucerius Foundation with Prof. Steven Schick at the University of California San Diego. Private studies also took place in conducting with Francis Travis and in composition with Dieter Mack.

From 2006 to 2014 Johannes Fischer taught at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano. In 2009 he was appointed professor of percussion at the University of Music Lübeck.