Michael Sanderling

Principal Conductor

Michael Sanderling has been Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic since the 2011/12 concert season. He is known for the highest musical and technical standards, concentrated rehearsals and concert performances of unforgettable intensity. The success of the most recent concert tours to South America, Asia, Great Britain and the United States, which resulted in the orchestra being invited for immediate return engagements, demonstrates that through his work Sanderling has drawn playing of the highest caliber from the Dresden Philharmonic within a very short period of time.

In the 2016/17 concert season, Michael Sanderling will conduct the orchestra in such important music centers as Shanghai, Peking, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, London, Vienna, Munich and Cologne. A special focus of concert programming in Dresden is a complete cycle of symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich. The surprising interrelations between the works featured in the first release of the series on the Sony Classical label demonstrate how well the two great symphonists can be programmed side by side on one disc, marking a new chapter in the discography of the Dresden Philharmonic.

The high point of the season will certainly be when, in early 2017, the Dresden Philharmonic moves into the newly renovated concert hall at the Kulturpalast. The inaugural performance marking the re-opening of the venue will be conducted by Michael Sanderling and features the premiere performance of a commissioned work by Krzysztof Penderecki, Julia Fischer performing as soloist in the Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto, and the iconic finale, “Ode to Joy,” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Starting in 2017, the “Kurt Masur Academy – The Orchestra Academy of the Dresden Philharmonic,” founded thanks to the commitment of Michael Sanderling and the close relationship of Kurt Masur with the Dresden Philharmonic and its Principal Conductor, will be welcoming young international musicians and thus contributing to passing the characteristic tonal culture of the history-steeped orchestra on to emerging young talent. The new institution will help ensure the future viability of the orchestra thanks to the impetus of its academy musicians.

Michael Sanderling is one of only a very few whose career path took him from performing as a soloist and orchestral musician to being one of the leading conductors of our time. In 1987, the native of Berlin was appointed Principal Cello of Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra under Kurt Masur. From 1994 to 2006 he held the same position with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris. His eight years as a member of the Ex Aequo Trio demonstrates his commitment to chamber music.

In 2000, he made his professional conducting debut with the Kammerorchester Berlin and from 2006 to 2010 was the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. Michael Sanderling regularly guest conducts renowned orchestras, among them Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the major radio symphony orchestras in Germany. In the 2016/2017 season, he will make his conducting debut with the Vienna Symphony and the Czech Philharmonic.

On the operatic stage, he has conducted widely acclaimed performances of The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass in Potsdam and Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the Cologne Opera. His discography as a cellist and conductor includes recordings of important works by Dvořák, Schumann, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.

Michael Sanderling is devoted to working with young musicians. He is a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main and regularly works with the German National Youth Orchestra (BJO), the Jerusalem Weimar Youth Orchestra, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. He was the Principal Conductor of the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie from 2003 to 2013.