Penelope Fischer is the winner of three national music competitions, the principal flutist of the Ann Arbor Symphony and a performing member of Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and the Ann Arbor Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
She can be heard on recent recordings on the Koch, Crystal, and ACA labels and a newly-released Naxos CD of the Ann Arbor Symphony showcasing her as their principal flutist and soloist in Paul Fetler’s “Capriccio”. She has been a featured soloist with AASO.
She has taught at the George Washington University, the University of Michigan and was a co-founder and founding director of the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts. She has an active private flute studio and in the summers she has taught at Pine Mountain and Interlochen’s Adult Chamber Music Camp. She has had flute students who have attended Eastman, Oberlin, Cincinnati, U. of Wisconsin, U. of Michigan and other schools on scholarship and some have gone on to perform professionally and become college music faculty. She has performed at Aston Magna, Stonybrook Bach, Tidewater, Kapalua, Great Lakes, Macinac Island, Pine Mountain and Leipzig Bach Music Festivals. When she lived in Washington, DC, she performed frequently at the Kennedy Center and National Gallery of Art and was principal flutist of the Washington Bach Consort (flute and traverso), the Alexandria (VA) Symphony and the Washington Sinfonia.
She was a delegate on two professional cultural exchanges to Russia, one to China and Japan, and led a National Flute Association delegation to the Czech Republic and Germany when she was President of NFA. She has served NFA also as a board member, competitions judge and on many committees; served as president and board member of the Flute Society of Washington (DC) and president and board member of Southeast Michigan Flute Association. She has given masterclasses and judged competitions at many international, national and regional music conferences.
She is currently president of Ann Arbor’s Society for Musical Arts which runs a Wednesday Morning Concert Series showcasing talented regional artists and sponsors two music competitions. Her degrees are from Universities of Iowa (BM), Michigan (MM, cum laude) and Maryland (DMA) with additional study in France with Jean-Pierre Rampal and with Geoffrey Gilbert. Her doctoral dissertation is on French flutist/composer/conductor Philippe Gaubert.
She has given her popular Baroque Dance 101 for Musicians workshop all around the US and in Asia. She lectures on and collects Russian lacquer boxes – an interest started in while soloing with the U. of Iowa Symphonic Band on a US State Department Cultural Exchange to Moscow and St. Petersburg and deepened on subsequent trips to Russia in 1989, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2007. She has been a host/guest lecturer on five U of Michigan Alumni tours to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Costa Rica, Russia, Celtic Lands (Brittany, Ireland, Wales, Scotland) and Tanzania with her husband Ken Fischer who is president of the University Musical Society of U. of Michigan. Her son Matthew Fischer is senior director of the App Store at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA.