THE SCOOP | National Youth Orchestra Appoints Music Director

By Michael Vincent on December 16, 2021

Sascha Goetzel (Photo courtesy of the artist)
Sascha Goetzel (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada has appointed conductor Sascha Goetzel as Music Director for a two-year term.

“We are so honoured to celebrate NYO Canada’s return to the stage with the incomparable Sascha Goetzel, said President and CEO Barbara Smith. “As we continue to confront a future of uncertainty and challenges in a global pandemic, we know that he will foster an environment of hope, understanding, support, and transformation these young musicians need.”

Mystery baton

He’s spent most of his time in Europe so, despite a long list of guest appearances (including the Vancouver Symphony orchestra in 2019-20), Goetzel is a relative unknown in Canada.

Hailing from Vienna, the 51-year-old conductor is currently serving as Music Director Designate of the l’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and Principal Guest conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic. He has just ended 11 years as chief of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Originally trained as a violinist, he began studying conducting in Austria with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy.

Fateful meeting

Goetzel first met the NYO Canada during their collaborative Frenergy concert tour of Ontario and Quebec in 2019 with the European Union Youth Orchestra members.

When do we get to see him?

Goetzel will make his debut with NYO Canada in performances of Strauss’ Don Juan, Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, and a concerto featuring the recipient of the 2022 Canada Council Michael Measures 1st Prize. New Canadian works will also be featured by NYO Canada’s 2021 and 2022 commissioned composers Leo Purich and Katerina Gibbon.

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Michael Vincent
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