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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Apr 17, 2020

In this very special episode, I’m speaking with violinist and pedagogue Simon Fischer, who is recognized world-wide as a performer, educator and recording artist, and who’s published work greatly influences the teaching of the violin. In this conversation Simon talks to us in details about the fundamentals of high quality practice and performance preparation, and shares incredible wisdom on various aspects of efficient learning.


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Simon Fischer is recognised as one of the pre-eminent musicians of our time, enjoying a distinguished and wide-ranging career as a performer, educator and recording artist.

As a recitalist he has performed in the UK, the USA, Europe and Australia, at venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. Alongside standard repertoire he delights audiences by performing his own transcriptions of famous works by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Johann Strauss, Rossini and Purcell.  For many years Simon played duo recitals with his father, the pianist Raymond Fischer. Amongst UK and foreign touring projects they played the three Brahms Sonatas in a live broadcast from Sydney, Australia. These Sonatas have also been recorded on CD, receiving high praise in Gramophone Magazine.

Simon Fischer has frequently played as soloist or leader/soloist with major orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber and the Ulster Orchestra, working with celebrated conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Charles Groves, Richard Hickox, Andrew Litton, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and André Previn.  As a chamber musician he was leader of the Chamber Group of Scotland, with whom he gave many broadcasts and concerts of contemporary music, and worked closely with composers such as Sally Beamish and James MacMillan. He has directed the European Union Chamber Orchestra on tours including to Korea, China and Ireland.

Simon Fischer is recognised as having a place amongst the world's elite teachers. Having studied in London with Yfrah Neaman, and in New York with Dorothy DeLay, Fischer's approach unites the best elements of the French, Russian and American violin traditions.

He is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music. He has also held positions at three specialist music schools, the Yehudi Menuhin, Wells Cathedral and Purcell, For 15 years he was also a visiting professor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.

Fischer's published work greatly influences the teaching of the violin. Having written for The Strad magazine from 1991-2014, his monthly articles attracted a worldwide following.

Published by Edition Peters, his technique books Basics and Practice, Scales and The Violin Lesson (translated variously into Korean, Italian, Japanese and German),  have become standards on many continents - as has his DVD The Secrets of Tone Production, His book and DVD Warming Up, was described by The Strad magazine as "23 pages of pure technical gold".

In 2014 Simon Fischer was awarded the European String Teachers Association prize "In celebration of a lifetime contribution to String Teaching".

In conjunction with his playing engagements he frequently gives masterclasses and workshops . Recent residencies have taken place in the USA, Holland, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany and Australia. Simon Fischer plays a violin by Peter Guarnerius of Venice from c. 1732.


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Don’t forget to visit the Mind Over Finger Resources’ page to check out amazing books recommended by my podcast guests, as well as my favorite websites, cds, the podcasts I like to listen to, and the practice and podcasting tools I use everyday!  Find it here:!


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Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!