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.
Ozawa also became his teacher and invited him with a conducting fellowship to the Tanglewood Festival.
Further conducting studies followed with Jorma Panula and at 24 he took over 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) and made a brilliant debut at the BBC Proms (2014).
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 a six year 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 Istanbul’s Barış İçin Müzik Vakfı/Music for Peace Foundation and works closely with young people in music education, development and performance.
Sascha Goetzel is an acclaimed and highly experienced opera conductor. Following a great success with Le nozze di Figaro in the autumn of 2014 the Vienna State Opera invited Sascha Goetzel for productions of Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto and Rosenkavalier until 2018. This season he conducted a new production of Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto at the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy. Singers with whom he has worked include Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Joyce Di Donato, Joseph Calleja, Piotr Beczala, Juan Diego Flores, Thomas Hampson and Michael Schade.
His spectacular work with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has been documented in three 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 accordeonist Ksenija Sidorova and violinist Nemanja Radulovic complete a varied and fascinating discography.
Recent concerts include performances with the Orchestre National de France in Paris, Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Cracow Philharmonic and the Israel Symphony Orchestra. Other highlights have included his Japanese opera debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic in Le Nozze die Figaro, Rigoletto in Rennes, a debut in the Zurich Tonhalle, opening the 2016 and 2017 Vienna State Opera balls with the Vienna Philharmonic and performances there of the Magic Flute for children, and two concerts at the Hong Kong Festival. In March he conducted
the Yomiuri Orchestra in Tokyo, a concert with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra and Joyce Di Donato, as well as the Turkish première of Der Rosenkavalier, in which young Turkish singers prepared roles at the Borusan Vocal Academy and sang alongside international stars. Kuopio, Helsingborg and Guadalajara are his concert venues before the season ends, as well as performances of Rosenkavalier and Rigoletto at the Vienna State Opera.