Sascha Goetzel

Artistic Director & Principal Conductor
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra

Born in Vienna, Sascha Goetzel had his first violin lessons with his father at the age of five, and at eleven his first conducting classes with Prof. Richard Österreicher. At 19 he was a member of the Vienna State Opera, where he was given decisive impulses by great conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons and Seiji Ozawa. Further studies followed with Jorma Panula and at 24 he assumed the musical direction of the Austrian-Korean Philharmonic in Vienna.

He has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008 and achieved high artistic standards and international recognition within a few years for this hitherto barely known body of musicians, which has performed at the Salzburg Festival (2010), made a brilliant debut at the BBC Proms (2014) and had its first major European tour in 2017.

Countless international reviews underscore his charismatic personality and stylistic security, which ranges from pre-classical to contemporary music, and which has given him the ability to draw peak performances from orchestras. Sascha Goetzel was resident conductor of the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, musical director of the Attergau Orchestra Institute, which operates under the aegis of the Vienna Philharmonic, and principal guest conductor of the Kanagawa Philharmonic and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne. After six years tenure of the music directorship of the Kuopio Symphony in Finland he remains a regular guest with the orchestra. He is the artistic director of Music for Peace Foundation (Istanbul) and works closely with young people in music education, development and performance. Sascha Goetzel is an acclaimed and highly experienced opera conductor and is regularly invited to conduct at the Vienna State Opera. Singers with whom he has worked include Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, Piotr Beczala, Juan Diego Flórez, Thomas Hampson and Michael Schade.

His spectacular work with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has been documented in four CDs released by Onyx. The first featured orchestral works by Respighi, Hindemith and Florent Schmitt, the second is entitled Music from the Machine Age, and both received superb reviews. A third recording featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade and other Western works with oriental influences was awarded “5 stars for the performance and 5 stars for the sound” by BBC Music Magazine. A 2014 recording of works by Bach and Schnittke with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, and Deborah and Sarah Nemtanu, and CDs in 2015 and 2017 for Deutsche Grammophon with his Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic with accordionist Ksenija Sidorova and violinist Nemanja Radulović have been added to a varied and fascinating discography. The latest CD with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has recently been released: a double concerto for Vadim Repin and Daniel Hope commissioned by the orchestra from Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, recorded live in Wiener Musikverein.

Updated: September 2018

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