Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
ROB FISHER is a recognized authority on American music of all kinds. His particular specialty has been conducting classic musical theater. Fisher was music director and conductor of the Tony-honored Encores! series at New York’s City Center from its inception in 1994 through 2005. In 1997 he was presented the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement for his work on Encores! The series has spawned many recordings for which he has served as the conductor and associate producer.
The Broadway hits Chicago and Wonderful Town began at the Encores! series. Fisher was instrumental in their successful transfers, and he remains supervising music director of companies of Chicago around the world. He conducted the Grammy-winning Chicago cast recording and the recently released Wonderful Town. Fisher enjoys an ongoing relationship with the New York Pops and was pleased to share concerts with the late Skitch Henderson regularly.
In 2007, Fisher conducted the critically acclaimed revival of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center. The New York Times praised Fisher for “delivering the score with a plush sound that drew attention to the intricacy and wit of the orchestrations.” In 2005, he made debuts with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras. As guest artist he has led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Atlanta, Virginia, Colorado, Baltimore, and National symphonies, as well as many performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Fisher was the music director for the New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night in February of 2000. In 2001, he conducted Sweeney Todd with Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and the San Francisco Symphony, broadcast on PBS and available on DVD.
Fisher annually creates evenings for the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y. Twice in 1998, he was featured on the PBS series In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton and their guests in the East Room. For four seasons he was music director for Garrison Keillor’s American Radio Company. With the Coffee Club Orchestra from the radio show, Fisher recorded Shaking the Blues Away, a collection of Depression-Era popular music which was released on Angel/EMI. Rob Fisher continues as a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion.
Fisher was the artistic advisor for Carnegie Hall’s two-year Gershwin Centennial Celebration and was the music director and conductor for “Ira at 100,” the gala concert on December 6, 1996, which was subsequently broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. On a number of occasions he has performed Gershwin’s duo piano music with Dick Hyman. As a soloist, he has played Rhapsody in Blue many times, including for live television, and he has performed Concerto in F with orchestras across the country.