Doctoral Project Albert Fischer

Váša Příhoda: a critical study of his life and art

One of the most important and prominent violinists of the first half of the twentieth century was Váša Příhoda. He was a representative of the Bohemian violin tradition and his playing was often associated with the virtuoso art of Niccolo Paganini. This research affords him –  for the first time – broader scholarly consideration.

His ascent to the pinnacle of elite violinists in the musical life of the interwar period underpins a special artistic potential, but today the artist goes largely unnoticed. Numerous interesting questions arise that make scholarly research in several directions apt – questions, for example, about the establishment of his career, the motives behind his activities under national socialism, and his unmistakable artistry.

In addition to an in-depth study of biographical details of the artistic career and his artistic-political actions under national socialism, this work attempts to locate his violin artistry in the conflicting field of virtuoso interpretation art of the early twentieth century and, using computer-aided methods of analysis from interpretation research, to approach his artistic ideal and the question of the extent to which it was shaped by the zeitgeist, a political ideology, or virtuoso violin traditions. A multitude of surviving life and sound documents offer material for intensive discussion, new insights, and traces of an artistic concept of life in an almost forgotten epoch of virtuosity.

First supervisor: Univ.Prof. Dr. Lars Laubhold, ABPU
Second supervisor: Prof. Dr. Nils Grosch, University of Salzburg

Biography

Albert Fischer studied violin with Hans Pedl in Wels, Prof. Eduard Arzt at the Bruckner Conservatory Linz, and Prof. Gerhard Schulz and Prof. Gerhart Hetzel at the Vienna Musikhochschule, and has participated in masterclasses with Henryk Szeryng, Max Rostal, and Evgenia Tschougaieva. His musical mentor was the pedagogue and student of Max Strub, Anna Haberzettl. His membership of the Vienna Chamber Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra Of Europe, the first concertmaster position at the Augsburg/D Opera House (1989-1995), as well as intensive concert activities as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe and Asia represent stations in his professional career.

As a soloist, Albert Fischer has performed with orchestras such as the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz; as a chamber musician, he was a member of the Salzburg piano trio, Trio Cartellieri, from 1999 to 2010, with appearances at the Salzburg Festival as well as concerts in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, and Greece. CD recordings underline this period of artistic activity, such as the highly acclaimed duo CD with pianist Andreas Weber, with works by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms (2008). His artistic activities also include the direction of the Camerata Wels (2000-2016), the founding of the ensemble BEL'ART in 2012, and many years as concertmaster in the Symphonieorchester Wels.

Since 1993 Albert Fischer has taught as professor of violin at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz. Many of his students have successfully established chamber music and orchestral careers (e.g. Vienna Philharmonic), and have been successful in national and international competitions. Fischer’s other activities include masterclasses in Asia and Europe, and since 2018 the direction of his own summer academy in Vodnany, Czech Republic. Since 2011 Albert Fischer has been a founding member and jury chairman of the Váša Příhoda international violin competition in Budweis, Czech Republic, as well as an artistic advisor to the Upper Austria Strings Association, and a member of ESTA in Austria.