Maestro Sascha Goetzel named NYO Canada’s Music Director for 2022 and 2023.

Thursday, December 16, 2021, Toronto, Ontario – The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) is proud to announce the appointment of Maestro Sascha Goetzel – Music Director Designate of the l’Orchestre National Des Pays De La Loire and Principal Guest conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic – as Music Director in 2022 and 2023. A frequent guest conductor with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, Goetzel previously led the NYO and members of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) in the collaborative “Frenergy” concert tour of Ontario and Quebec in 2019. 

2022 marks NYO’s anticipated return to the stage for the first time in two years since the onset of the pandemic. NYO is delighted to welcome Maestro Goetzel back to Canada and our orchestra, where he will provide exceptional mentorship and learning opportunities for musicians. Together with Sascha Goetzel, NYO is excited for its students to explore, grow, and embark on a successful career path in music. He exclaims: “The NYO Canada symbolizes the values and ideals that lie at the heart of Canada – unity, egalitarianism, community, and respect. And by acknowledging multiculturalism and diversity, we enrich and strengthen our communities, using mutual learning as the key to growth and success.” 

In addition to regularly working with various youth orchestras, Goetzel is committed to supporting educational projects globally, including Music for Peace (Turkey) and El Sistema Europe (International). He brings decades of work building the calibre of orchestras around the world and revitalizing audiences’ experience in the concert hall. 

With exemplary mastery and vision, Goetzel will lead the orchestra in performances of Strauss’ Don Juan, Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, and a concerto featuring the recipient of the 2022 Canada Council Michael Measures 1st Prize. New Canadian Works will also be featured by NYO Canada’s 2021 and 2022 commissioned composers Leo Purich and Katerina Gimon. 

Speaking about the appointment, President and CEO Barbara Smith said: “We are so honoured to celebrate NYO Canada’s return to the stage with the incomparable Sascha Goetzel. As we continue to confront a future of uncertainty and challenges in a global pandemic, we know that he will foster encourage an environment of hope, understanding, support, and transformation these young musicians need.”  

NYO Canada continues to assist and encourage young, aspiring musicians to transition back to live music instruction and performance while adapting to the realities of music-making in a post-COVID-19 world. We would like to thank the Government of Canada, Ontario Arts Council, RBC Foundation and our many donors for supporting our 2022 training institute. We look forward to releasing additional information on NYO Canada’s 62nd season, session, and tour early in the new year. 

NYO Canada:  

The mission of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) is to recruit the best young classical musicians from across the country and prepare them for careers as professional orchestral musicians. Each year, NYO Canada auditions more than 500 musicians ages 16-28. 

Under the guidance of our world-renowned faculty of professional musicians and educators, orchestra members participate in the NYO Canada Chamberfest and Orchestral Training Institute, including a recording session, and a concert tour with performances in Canada and abroad in some of the world’s finest concert halls. 

As the bridge between music education and a music career, NYO Canada’s vision is to launch Canada’s next generation of professional orchestral musicians by offering a comprehensive program that encompasses a full range of skills and experiences, entirely tuition-free. Additionally, each member of the orchestra receives a personal scholarship generously provided by our sponsors and donors. 

The mandate of NYO Canada is to discover and inspire well-rounded and skilled orchestral musicians, to support and promote Canadian emerging composers and artists, and to build appreciation for classical music among audiences in every corner of the nation. 

About Sascha Goetzel: 

A dynamic, charismatic, and compelling musical presence on the podium, Sascha Goetzel has emerged as a multifaceted conductor—a remarkable orchestra builder, creative programmer, entrepreneur, educator, and advocate for musicians and artists.  Goetzel was recently appointed Music Director of the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire, a four-year post he assumes in September 2022. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic. 

During his transformative eleven-year tenure as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, he significantly raised the artistic profile of the ensemble through imaginative programming, award-winning recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, Onyx and Warner labels, and widely acclaimed tours to the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Royal Concertgebouw, and Vienna’s Musikverein. Currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic, Goetzel continues to diligently build the caliber of the ensemble, burnishing its reputation 

He has appeared with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, and London Philharmonic Orchestra, collaborating with major soloists, among them Daniil Trifonov, Joyce Di Donato, Yuja Wang, Maxim Vengerov, Anna Netrebko, and Murray Perahia.  

A frequent presence at the Vienna State Opera, he has led productions at the Mariinsky Theatre, the Zürich Opera House, and Tokyo Nikikai Opera Company, among others.  

Committed to music education and an advocate for the arts in general, Goetzel is also Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director of the Vienna Art Network, a new digital platform supporting independent musicians and artists; Artistic Director of Music for Peace (El Sistema-Turkey); a conducting mentor at Dirigentloftet, in Norway; and Director and Co-Founder of Opera by the Fjord, an innovative academy and festival for aspiring singers and instrumentalists.  

Born and raised in Vienna, Goetzel trained as a violinist and began his conducting studies in Austria and with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He worked with Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Andre Previn, Zubin Mehta, and Bernhard Haitink in the United States and was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival. His previous posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Kanagawa Philharmonic (2013-2017) and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne (2012-2015), as well as Principal Conductor of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, in Finland (2006-2012).  

For further press information, please contact:   

For NYO Canada:   

Marjorie Maltais  
Executive Assistant  
NYO Canada  
(416) 532-4470 Ext. 221./ (1 (888) 532-4470 Ext. 221  
Emily Dunbar  
Administrative Assistant  
NYO Canada  
(416) 532-4470 Ext. 225./ (1 (888) 532-4470 Ext. 225  

For Sascha Goetzel:   

Jason Bagdade   
Artist Manager   
Arabella Arts   
(917) 624-7547