Sascha Goetzel to debut at BIFO’s first concert of 2009 .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - World famous violinist and conductor Sascha Goetzel will make his debut as artistic conductor and music director of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra in the first concerts of the year, which will take place in Istanbul on Jan. 28 and Jan.29.

Internationally acclaimed conductor and violinist Sascha Goetzel will make his debut as artistic director and chief conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, or BIFO, at the Lutfi Kirdar Concert Hall in Istanbul on Wednesday.

After a yearlong selection process among guest conductors from four countries, Sascha Goetzel was named artistic director of Turkey’s foremost symphony orchestra by an international jury last June. Viennese-born Goetzel initially started his career as a violinist, and played in the Vienna Philharmonic where he received training from some of the world’s greatest conductors.

Goetzel’s mentor Zubin Mehta described him as "highly talented, musically and technically" while Riccardo Muti said he was "an enthusiastic, extraordinarily talented musician."

Having worked alongside such great conductors, it was not long before Goetzel won the Conducting Fellowship Award at the Tanglewood Music Festival and a Rotary International Scholarship Award enabled him to extend the experience he had in Austria where he conducted the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus.

New plans for BİFO
Goetzel has taken over from Maestro Gürer Aykal, who was the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra’s music director since it’s founding and the man responsible for its artistic evolution. Goetzel is responsible for the preparation of concert tours and guest appearances at major European music festivals, with a special role to play in the 2010 Istanbul Festival when Istanbul plays as the European Capital of Culture.

For the first concert of this season under Goetzel’s direction, the orchestra will play from a selection of symphonic poems by Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner on Jan. 28 at the Caddebostan Culture Center and Jan. 29 at the Lütfi Kırdar Concert Hall.

As the new music director, Goetzel said he aims to better and deepen the orchestra’s already excellent reputation. He said the orchestra would be embarking on an Everest exhibition in the music world and by 2010, when Istanbul takes the stage as European cultural capital, he wants BIFO to reach the top of the mountain where the orchestra will be recognized worldwide.

"I would like our audience to go through a journey of emotions at our concerts and feel the music as opposed to just listening and watching, which will hopefully result in unforgettable experiences," said Goetzel. Expectations are high for the forthcoming BIFO concert under Goetsel’s direction due to his excellent reputation and reviews from previous concerts. Goetzel is renowned for his ambition and drive, according to his legendary mentor Jorma Panula.

"His unique personality and very professional attitude make him a convincing but at the same time passionate young director," said Panula. His other successful debuts include the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony and the Luxembourg Philharmonic just to name a few.

Following the success of the BIFO New Year Celebration concert - one of the orchestra’s most popular annual traditions known for bringing cheer and goodwill to Istanbul during the festive season - the orchestra is preparing intensely for what is expected to be a memorable first concert of the year under the new conductor’s direction.

BIFO has developed a reputation for excellence over the years. Established in 1993 as a chamber orchestra by Borusan, a leading Turkish industrial group of companies, the orchestra’s mission was to help bring polyphonic music to a wider Turkish audience. The chamber group grew rapidly and by 1999 became a symphonic orchestra directed by Gürer Aykal. With Sascha Goetzel as the newly appointed music director and permanent conductor, Borusan believe Goetzel will uphold the orchestra’s reputation and ensure that BIFO will continue to serve "as a bridge between the people of Turkey and the best of polyphonic music." According to Borusan the days ahead will see Borusan carry on its tradition of linking music lovers with some of the world's top virtuosos at the highest international standards in the arts, all in keeping with Borusan's rich heritage of excellence.
The following evening concerts will feature Sascha Göetzel as conductor. The concerts will take place at Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center and at Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi Concert Hall. All concerts begin at 8 p.m.

Jan. 28 -- Caddebostan

Kültür Merkezi Concert Hall

Jan. 29 -- Harbiye

Lütfi Kirdar Concert Hall

Conductor: Sascha Goetzel

Solist: Geraldine McGreevy (soprano), Michaela Selinger (mezzo soprano), Netta Or (soprano)

Program: R. Strauss: Don Juan Symphonic Poem Op. 20

R. Wagner: Prelude und Liebestod from Tristian and Isolde Opera

R. Strauss: parts from "The Knight of the Rose" Opera

Feb. 18 -- Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi Concert Hall

Feb. 19 -- Harbiye Lütfi Kirdar Concert Hall

Conductor: Sascha Göetzel

Soloist: Emre Elivar (piano), Atilla Aldemir (violin), Natalie Clein (violoncello)

Program: L. Van Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Concerto for piano, violin and cello, D major, op. 56,

N. Rimski-Korsakov: Shehrazad Symphonic Suite

March 31-- Harbiye Lütfi Kirdar Concert Hall

Conductor: Sascha Goetzel

Leyla Gencer, La Diva Turca Concert

Performers to be announced Wednesday, April 15 -- Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi Concert Hall

April 16 -- Harbiye Lütfi Kirdar Concert Hall

Conductor: Sacha Goetzel

Soloist: Freddy Kempf (piano)

Program: P. I. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 B flat minor op. 23 Ğ Symphony No. 5, E minor op. 64