Asher Fisch has the air of a man who’s deeply satisfied, but keeping it under wraps. It’s the morning after West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s superb concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde , and there’s every sense that new levels of greatness have been attained. Few would hesitate to point to Fisch as the driving force behind this achievement – careful programming choices have allowed the orchestra to really flex its muscles in the Romantic repertoire, developing a rich sound profile that he doesn’t hesitate to place alongside central Europe’s best bands. But no one’s popping the champagne just yet – at the moment we’re meeting to discuss next year’s season, there’s still one more performance of Tristanto get through. The party can wait.

Asher Fisch. Photo © Christophe Canato

“That we play in a certain way and that people can say ‘that’s the WASO sound’ – it’s the culmination of the work we’ve done in the last five years together,” says Fisch. “We started with Beethoven, then Brahms and then the Wagner symphonic excerpts, including the overtures. We also did a concert with...

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