Based in Vienna, Sophie Hassfurther has made a name for herself as a versatile instrumentalist on the saxophone, flute, and clarinet, as well as a performer and composer for ensembles in various musical contexts. Career highlights include domestic and international concerts with Peter Herbert, Marianne Mendt, Mathias Rüegg, Gerry Hemingway, Wolter Wierbos, Sean Bergin and Simon Nabatov.
Sophie’s musical journey brought her to perform in various venues and festivals in Europe and abroad, among others the Jazzfestival Saalfelden, North Sea Jazz Festival, Bimhuis Amsterdam, Nardis Jazz Club Istanbul, and included collaborations with musicians from South Africa, India, Latin America, Africa and the USA.
As a composer, she received a number of grants from the federal chancellery of Austria and the City of Vienna. Several of her compositions were premiered at the international contemporary music festival Wien Modern. Jazz festivals such as Outreach Schwaz have commissioned her to compose. She has written music for theater projects in various line-ups, and is frequently asked to contribute compositions to the repertoire of bands she performs in.
In her own projects, she explores socially relevant themes and explores the boundaries between composition and improvisation. Her work as a leader is praised for its power, authenticity and interplay, in media such as Jazz Podium and London Jazz News. She has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings, three of them with her longtime musical partner, clarinetist Oğuz Büyükberber. She can also be heard as a sidewoman on various albums.
Growing up near Salzburg, Austria she started music at an early age. Her studies took her to Amsterdam, Vienna and New York. She uses her skills as a reeds player in various musicals, as an orchestra member for stage music, and as a sidewoman in different stylistic contexts. Sophie teaches saxophone, flute and clarinet at Klangwerk Wien and is a lecturer at jazz and improvisation workshops.