Sascha Goetzel, Conductor


The Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel has crafted a global reputation as a music director and guest conductor known for his commitment to explore sound and repertoire through dynamic programs and projects.

Throughout his ten year tenure as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, he has raised the ensemble’s artistic standards and garnered international recognition with unique programming, CD recordings and multiple tours, as well as appearances at the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Teatre des Champs-Elysees, Royal Concertgebouw and Vienna’s Musikverein as well as the Konzerthaus.

Highlights of his 2019-20 season include orchestral appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Austrian Radio Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker, Vancouver Symphony, Sofia Philharmonic, a Canadian joint venture Tour of the EUYO+NYO, and Romanian Radio Orchestra, as well as productions of “Die Zauberflöte” with Opernhaus Zürich and “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Wiener Staatsoper.

Having established a high reputation as an international guest conductor, Goetzel appeared in various productions with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, NHK-Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra among many others. He has worked with international soloists such as Maxim Vengerov, Murray Perahia, Rudolf Buchbinder, Yuja Wang, Vadim Repin, Daniel Hope, Hillary Hahn, and Branford Marsalis.

Esteemed as an opera conductor, his 2014 direction of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Wiener Staatsoper garnered great praise and immediate re-invitations for various opera productions: Rosenkavalier; Don Giovanni; Le Nozze di Figaro; Rigoletto; La Traviata; La Boheme; Die Zauberflöte and Fledermaus. To date, he has conducted Opera Anger-Nantes, Tiroler Landestheater, Opera de Montpelier, Opera de Rennes, Wiener Volksoper, Tokyo Nikkikai Opera Company at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, and led Renee Fleming, Roberto Alagna, Juan Diego Florez, Thomas Hampson, Bryn Terfel, Piotr Beczala, Bo Skovhus, and Ian Bostridge in opera galas.

In addition, to working regularly with various youth orchestras, Goetzel believes in the importance of music education, building bridges for a mutual multi-cultural understanding of ethic, diversity, hybridity and difference. He actively supports international educational projects such as Music for Peace (Turkey) and El Sistema Europe (International).

On the Deutsche Grammophon and Onyx labels, Goetzel and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic have released international award winning albums: Baïka (2018), Turnage & Berlioz (2018), Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto Rococo Variations (2017), Carmen (2016), Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade (2014), Music from the Machine Age (2012), and Sascha Goetzel conducts Respighi, Hindemith & Schmitt (2010).

Maestro Goetzel has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, from 2013-2017, the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne from 2012-2015, and as Principle Conductor of the Kuopio Symphony in Finland from 2006-2012.


Sascha Goetzel has an extensive repertoire. For further details click:

Impressive Debut
International Record Review
Thu, 2010-04-01
This is the first recording to be released internationally by this relatively new orchestra (founded in 1999) and I recommend it without reservation. Here is an absolutely outstanding disc from every point of view, one of the most impressive recording 'firsts' for an orchestra that I can recall for many years. The repertoire has been cleverly and subtly chosen - we do not need to be experts in geography to realize that the leading symphony orchestra in Turkey, in making its recording debut, has chosen three fine works which are associated with that part of the world. Not that there is anything 'nationalistic' in this music - from any of the German, Italian and French composers represented - but it's a subtle programme planner who connects the 'Euro-oriental' nature of these three works, which together make very suitable bedfellows, for these scores are all likely to appeal to the same music lover. The sound quality is first-class in every respect. The orchestral playing is of a very high standard throughout, as one can immediately hear at the beginning of Respighi's ballet and the opening of the concluding 'Orgiastic Dance' in the same work, although there are countless other examples of the excellence of this orchestra. In 'Belkis', the coda of the final movement of revisits in 'Pini di Roma' in terms of sustained orchestral power, affording opportunities which this orchestra - and its excellent conductor - seizes avidly. Hindemith's Weber Metamorphosis is not so clearly scored in the opening movement as the Respighi but the labyrinthine orchestration is most adroitly handled by these players (the 'jazz-brass' section in the second movement and the opening of the finale are exceptionally well played). Sascha Goetzel's tempos throughout are first-class - especially that of the final March - and he should feel justly proud of the standard he has obtained with this orchestra, which boasts an impressive woodwind section which takes its opportunities admirably. Florent Schmitt's 'The Tragedy of Salomé' is another relatively rarely heard score which here receives a fresh and uplifting performance; sensitive, yet rich and warmly expressive where called for. The work, dedicated to Stravinsky (who praised it very highly), is magnificently orchestrated in a manner that surely impressed Ravel. The grandeur and nobility of the music also clearly suit this orchesta and conductor, who - in freshness and vitality, the sheer musicality, of their performances and in their virtuosity in the second 'Dance of Fear' - would put several far more well-known and mushc longer-established European orchestras to shame. This is a most auspicious debut. Robert Matthew-Walker
Scotland Herald
Mon, 2012-03-12
THIS is not just a fine disc: it's a sensational set of performances from an orchestra that, until a few years ago, was pretty unknown, as was their brilliant German-born conductor, Sascha Goetzel. The repertoire on the disc is, for the most part, equally stunning, doing what the label says on the box: kicking seven bells out of the great mechanistic, motoric pieces of early last century, with Prokofiev's Scythian Suite (rescued from a ballet Diaghilev rejected) the lead bulldozer in a full body charge. Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin Suite is terrifyingly thunderous in the hands of this virtuosic Turkish orchestra, though Schulhoff's Ogelala and Holst's The Perfect Fool struggle to keep up with the visceral, gut-punching music of the other composers. Interestingly, Ravel's La Valse infiltrates this bunch of bruisers effortlessly because Goetzel and his Istanbul band, in a fabulous performance, clearly regard it as the nadir of the decadence pounded out of existence by the heavyweight mechanics represented here so pugnaciously. Michael Tumelty
Orchestral works by Hindemith, Respighi and Schmitt. Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra/Sascha Goetzel Onyx Classics ONYX4048 Released: 2010
Der Konzertante Kontrabass
Radio-Philharmony Hannover of the NDR Conductor: Sascha Goetzel Released: 2000
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Photo: Ozge Balkan

Photo: Ozge Balkan

Photo: Ozge Balkan

Photo: Ozge Balkan

Photo: Ozge Balkan