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. In late-2021, he was appointed Music Director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, a post he takes on for an initial four-year term beginning in September 2022. In addition he has been appointed the position as Music Director of the NYO-CAN, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada starting summer 2022.
During his 11 season tenure as Principle Conductor and Artistic Director of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, he contributed significantly to the ensemble. His imaginative programming, award-winning recordings, and widely praised performances—including tours to the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Hong Kong Arts Festival—are among his notable accomplishments.
Next to his Music Director positions with the ONPL in France and NYO- Canada, Goetzel currently holds the Principle Guest Conductor position of the Sofia Philharmonic and applies his same gifts as an orchestra builder, improving the caliber of the ensemble and burnishing its reputation. Goetzel has appeared a number of prominent orchestras—the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, and Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna—collaborating with major soloists, among them Daniil Trifonov, Joyce Di Donato, Yuja Wang, Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Anna Netrebko, Renee Fleming, Brandon Marsalis, Ian Bostridge, and Murray Perahia, among many others.
In 2014, he made an electric debut at the Vienna State Opera conducting Le Nozze di Figaro, which led to six return engagement —productions of Fledermaus, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Magic Flute and Rosenkavalier. Goetzel has also appeared at the Mariinsky Theatre, Zürich Opera House, Tokyo Nikikai Opera Company in Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan, Opéra de Rennes, Wiener Volksoper, and Opéra de Montpellier. Goetzel and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra have released several award winning albums on the Deutsche Grammophon, Onyx, and Warner labels featuring works by Turnage, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Bizet, Rimsky-Korsakov, Respighi, Hindemith, and Schmitt. 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, a program in Norway focused on developing young conductors; and Director and Co-Founder of Opera by the Fjord, an innovative academy and festival for aspiring singers and instrumentalists in partnership with the Bergen National Opera.
Born and raised in Vienna, Goetzel trained as a violinist and began his studies with Richard Österreicher in Austria and Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He furthered his education in the United States, working with Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Andre Previn, Zubin Mehta, and Bernhard Haitink. In addition to attending the Music University in Graz and Brooklyn College, Goetzel was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival for two summers. 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).