a life in music


Michael Hasel has been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic for almost 40 years. A versatile musician, he is known and loved as both flautist and conductor.

Born into a musical family, he began playing the piano at the age of five. At the age of fourteen he took his first flute lesson and later studied with Aurèle Nicolet at the Freiburg University of Music, where he also studied piano with Grigory Gruzman and conducting with Francis Travis. Private lessons with conductor Michael Gielen followed, along with numerous masterclasses.

During his early years as principal piccolo of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (1982-1984), Michael Hasel conducted the Frankfurt Volkshochschule Symphony Orchestra and the German-French Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Following his move to the Berlin Philharmonic in 1984 he became a founding member of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet (1988) with whom he has performed worldwide and made numerous recordings for CD and television.
He was principal flute of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra for ten years, playing under Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and James Levine.

In 1994 Michael Hasel was appointed professor of chamber music at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, where he taught until 1998. Now he imparts his knowledge to a new generation of orchestral musicians in the Berlin Philharmonic Karajan Academy and teaches at international masterclasses and festivals.

He continues to be active as a conductor and has directed numerous performances of works by composers such as George Friedrich Haas, Dan Visconti, Georg Katzer and Horia Surianu.
Renowned ensembles and orchestras conducted by Michael Hasel in Europe, South America, the USA and Japan include Ensemble Modern, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Berlin Philharmonic, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Banatul State Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scharoun Ensemble.

Michael Hasel has conducted at the Salzburg Easter Festival (works by Richard Wagner), the Baden-Baden Easter Festival (Mozart’s Magic Flute in a youth production, world premiere of “Clara” by Victoria Bond, Simplicius Simplicissimus by Karl Amadeus Hartmann) and at the Bach Week Madrid (Christmas Oratorio).
His conducting repertoire spans works from works for small ensembles to symphonic works to oratorio and opera, from baroque to contemporary music.

In the last few years Hasel has been increasingly active as a pianist again. With his long-time chamber music partner Andreas Sommer in the piano duo Sommer-Hasel on modern instruments and in the field of historical performance practice as a soloist on the fortepiano and clavichord.