Sascha Goetzel, Music Director
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.
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).