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(Photo courtesy: Sascha Goetzel Twitter)

France’s Orchestra National des Pays de la Loire Announces Next Music Director

Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel will assume the role for four years, effective as of September 1, 2022


President of Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (ONPL), Antoine Chéreau, made the announcement after their Syndical Committee met in late September 2021. Goetzel will succeed Pascal Rophé in the position.

“What an honor and what a pleasure to have the opportunity to create music, beauty and union with the great National Orchestra of Pays de la Loire, to share with all of you,” tweeted Goetzel. “I can't wait to get started! Thank you wholeheartedly for the trust.”

First trained as a violinist, Goetzel began learning with Richard Österreicher in Austria and Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He also attended the Music University in Graz and Brooklyn College, in addition to being a two-time fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

His studies in the US included working with Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Andre Previn, Zubin Mehta, and Bernhard Haitink. 

Goetzel is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. He was formerly principal guest conductor of Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra between 2013 and 2017 — and directed Orchester symphonique de Bretagne and Finland’s Kuopio Symphony.

Between 2008 and 2020, he served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. His varied programming, award-winning recordings, and tours to the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Hong Kong Arts Festival, helped transform the orchestra.

His conducting engagements include those with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of France, and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Artist collaborations include soloists Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Nemanja Radulovic, Daniel Hope, and Branford Marsalis.

As an opera conductor, Goetzel appeared at the Wiener Staatsoper, Mariinsky Theatre, Zürich Opera, Wiener Volksoper, Opera Anger-Nantes, Opera de Montpelier, Tokyo Nikkikai Opera Company, and Opera de Rennes.

He is also artistic director of Music for Peace (El Sistema-Turkey) and teaches young conductors at Dirigentloftet, a Norwegian association supporting emerging artists.

He is co-founder of Opera by the Fjord, a festival and academy for aspiring singers and instrumentalists, founded in collaboration with Bergen State Opera.


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