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Hungarian Conductor Ádám Fischer and Legendary Beatle Paul McCartney Receive Israeli Wolf Prize

By Fanni Kaszás // 2018.02.13.

Hungarian conductor Ádám Fischer is one of the nine honorees who will receive Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize in 2018. Fischer was awarded with the Wolf Prize for Music, and he will share the prize with legendary British bass guitarist and singer for the Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney.

The Wolf Foundation, the nonprofit organization that presents the awards, recognized Fischer for his work as conductor of the Vienna State Opera, the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra and many others, as well as for his political activism. Fischer is a member of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

The Hungarian conductor, whom the prize committee called an

eloquent defender of human rights,

emphasizing in particular “his protest against the political developments in his native Hungary”, will split the $100,000 prize with McCartney.

The Wolf Prize has been given out annually since 1978 to laureates in the fields of agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and arts. Fischer is the second Hungarian musician to receive the prize after avant-garde composer György Ligeti. More than 30 awardees of the prize have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

Prizes will be awarded to the nine laureates at the end of May in a special ceremony held at the Knesset, Israel’s legislative headquarters in Jerusalem, and will be hosted by the country’s president, Reuven Rivlin. The foundation said all of the laureates are “expected to arrive in Israel” in May for the ceremony and other related events.

The Wolf Foundation was established in 1975 with a $10 million endowment from the Wolf family. While it is a private, non-profit NGO, its activities are overseen by the State Comptroller of Israel, and the culture minister acts as chairman of its council.