In 2001, the Burbank Phil partnered with the Hennings-Fischer Foundation to launch its first annual “Young Artist Competition.” The competition drew competitors from all over the nation starting in its first year and has continued to gain momentum ever since its inception, with dozens of applicants vying each year for coveted finalist positions. Winners in the vocalist and instrumental category each year are awarded honorariums and later perform as guest artists with the orchestra.
Both the Hennings-Fischer Foundation and the “Young Artist Competition” honor the legacy of violinist, conductor and teacher Noumi Fischer (1907-1995) and his wife, fellow violinist and teacher Audrey Hennings Fischer (1919-2000). Their devoted musical careers and modest lifestyle built an endowment through which grants are made to organizations that support individual music students of high promise. The foundation perpetuates the goals to which Mr. and Mrs. Fischer dedicated their lives: the community of musical tradition and excellence.
Mr. Fischer began playing the violin at age 8, studied in Chicago and New York, and eventually settled in Los Angeles in 1932, where he became concertmaster of the Warner Brothers recording orchestra. He was also one of the foremost violin teachers of his time whose students came to him from all over the world. He was determined to impart his knowledge and skill to as many musicians as possible and he succeeded in making his students stretch beyond their reach. Mrs. Fischer, a Juilliard graduate, studied piano and violin and performed with numerous ensembles in Southern California as well as teaching public school music.
Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition
The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra launched the Discovery Conductor Project in 2019. This unique program will allow a select number of talented local high school students the opportunity to conduct the Burbank Philharmonic in rehearsal and performance while gaining valuable experience in all aspects of the music director’s job by studying with Music Director Michael Stanley and Conductor Laureate Steven Kerstein. Applicants must be 18 years of age or younger AND enrolled in a high school in the greater Los Angeles area. The first Discovery Conductor was Elizabeth Kim, a senior at Glendale High School, who conducted the orchestra at their November 2, 2019 concert. The second Discovery Conductor was Pablo Fernandez, a Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) senior, and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) student. He conducted the orchestra at their April 15, 2023, concert.