Interview Asher Fisch — Arts Review — 10 March 2018

Who is Asher Fisch?
A renowned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds – Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra since 2014.

Who Inspires you and why?
A few weeks ago I heard Daniel Barenboim’s new Tristan und Isolde in Berlin and I have realised that my old mentor still inspires me the most. I still don’t know anybody who lives and breathes music like this genius.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d be a politician (I nearly became one). Politics really is a noble profession, even if it has been rather devalued lately…

Favourite Holiday Destination and Why?
I don’t get back to my home country anywhere near as much as I used to, so going home to Israel is almost like a holiday.

When friends come to town what attraction would you take them to and why?
As I live in a beautiful village surrounded by mountains, I’d take them to a 3000 metre peak in the Alps. There is something so special and so serene being on the top of the world – plus you can see Italy from my favourite peak!

What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading Saul Friedlander’s autobiography. Friedlander is the leading Israeli historian of the holocaust and the Second World War. During the German occupation he was hidden by nuns in a Catholic boarding school near Vichy and converted to Roman Catholicism – and this saved his life. Only after the war did he rediscover his Jewish heritage and move to Israel. And I have a personal connection as his daughter is a good friend of mine! I’m also reading Tartine – a fantastic book about sourdough bread!

What are you currently listening to?
The news! And I am addicted to Rachel Maddow – the smartest news anchor in the world. I’m following with fascination the decline of the American democracy. Oddly enough, I don’t tend to listen to music, probably because as I spend my whole life making music!

Happiness is?
Simple – my family.

What does the future hold for you?
Well, I have signed a contract with WASO to be their Principal Conductor until the end of 2023 – so whatever else the future may hold, Australia will be an important (and enjoyable!) part of it.