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Israeli conductor for WASO
Asher Fisch. Picture: Chris Gonz

When Helpmann Award- winning Israeli conductor Asher Fisch agreed to take the baton from Paul Daniel as WA Symphony Orchestra's new principal conductor and artistic adviser, it wasn't just for Perth's climate.

"Although I do appreciate the Perth weather, no, it's not a ploy to get more sunshine," he joked on the phone from Vienna.

Fisch, whose appointment by WASO's board after consultation with the orchestra's musicians was announced yesterday and will start in 2014, said it was more about the quality of the orchestra and Perth audiences.

"I've always enjoyed working in Australia, so taking this job was a no-brainer for me," the former protege of legendary conductor Daniel Barenboim said.

"(WASO) works very hard. They have an incredibly good idea of sound and music-making, but at the same time they're normal, nice people.

"And I know there's a wonderful audience and lots of community support for the orchestra."

Currently principal guest conductor of the Seattle Opera, over the past two decades Fisch has conducted many of the world's greatest orchestras and opera companies.

He has worked with WASO five times before as well as other major Australian music organisations such as the South Australian Opera.

Its 2004 production of Wagner's Ring Cycle won 10 Helpmann Awards, including best musical direction for Fisch.

Fisch's appointment is for three years. He will conduct nine weeks a year, except in 2014 because he will do two weeks in September next year when he is principal conductor designate.