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With Strauss' Alpine Symphony and Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto having Julia Fischer as soloist, Michael Sanderling ended his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019, after eight highly successful seasons. This era includes the recording of all symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich as well as 345 concerts in 78 countries. 

Michael Sanderling is closely associated with the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Munich Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Guerzenich Orchestra Cologne and the symphony orchestras of SWR and WDR as guest conductor. 

He recently conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam for the first time. He will soon conduct the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Berlin, Michael Sanderling is one of the few artists who, after an illustrious career as orchestra musician and soloist, has been able to achieve a highly successful career on the podium, establishing himself as one of the world's most appreciated conductors. In 1987, at the age of 20, he became solo cellist of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Kurt Masur and, from 1994 to 2006, he held the same position in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. As soloist, he appeared with many of the world’s most esteemed ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris. However, it has been a long time since he last performed as a cellist.

Michael Sanderling first graced the conductor’s stand at a concert of the Kammerorchester Berlin in 2000 – and caught fire. Having been familiar with the art of conducting from a young age, as son of the legendary Kurt Sanderling, Michael Sanderling took on more and more conducting roles, and was named the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam in 2006.

As an opera conductor, he enjoyed success with Philip Glass’ “The Fall of the House of Usher" in Potsdam, and with a new production of Sergei Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” at the Cologne Opera. He has made many CD recordings of important works by Dvořák, Schumann, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and others, both as cellist and as conductor.

One of Michael Sanderling’s passions is working with young musicians. He teaches at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt/Main and regularly works with the Bundesjugendorchester (National Youth Orchestra of Germany), the Young Philharmonic Orchestra Jerusalem Weimar, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the Schleswig-Holstein-Festivalorchester. From 2003 to 2013, he was the principal conductor of the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie.

His musical horizons encompass works by Bach and Handel, to Beethoven and Shostakovich, to world premieres, of which he has conducted many by now.

Photo: Marco Borggreve


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