Michael Sanderling

Principal Conductor

Michael Sanderling © Markenfotografie

Michael Sanderling © Markenfotografie

The 2018/2019 concert season is Michael Sanderling’s eighth as Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic. His name is associated with a great musical and technical ambition, concentrated rehearsal work, and concert events of unforgettable intensity. The great success of his most recent tours to Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom show that Sanderling has brought the Dresden Philharmonic to top form with his work in the shortest space of time.

This season, Michael Sanderling will be visiting Japan, Korea, Argentina, Chile and Brazil as well as Cologne, Budapest and Warsaw, amongst other locations, with his orchestra and with such renowned soloists as Julia Fischer, Beatrice Rana and Herbert Schuch.

To open the season, Michael Sanderling will be conducting the world premiere of a commission by Fazil Say.

The focus on Dmitri Shostakovich continues, both in concert and the recording project of symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich. The CDs already released by Sony Classical have demonstrated how meaningful it is to juxtapose these two great symphonists with surprising correlations, and opened a new chapter in the Dresden Philharmonic’s discography.

Further highlights of the season will include concerts with Mahler's 9th symphony and the end-of-season event with Julia Fischer, his artistic partner of many years, as a soloist.

Michael Sanderling is one of the very few artist to have successfully advanced from soloist to major conductor. In 1987, the 20-year-old native Berliner became solo cellist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Kurt Masur, before taking the same position at the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 2006. Appearances as a soloist have included the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris, whilst as a passionate chamber musician he was a member of the trio Ex Aequo for eight years.

The first time he took to the conductor’s podium was in the year 2000 with Berlin Chamber Orchestra; from 2006 to 2010 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. As a guest conductor, he is a regular guest with such orchestras as Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Munich Philharmonic, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of the public broadcasting institutions SWR and WDR.  This season, he makes his debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow.

He has celebrated successes as an opera conductor with Philip Glass’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in Potsdam and Sergei Prokofjev’s “War and Peace” at the Cologne Opera. His CD recordings as a cellist and conductor meanwhile include key works by Dvořák, Schumann, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.

Throughout his career, Michael Sanderling has made working with young musicians a priority.  Such is Michael Sanderling’s commitment to the orchestra that in 2017, the “Kurt Masur Academy – the Orchestra Academy of the Dresden Philharmonic” was created, so called because of the close relationship Kurt Masur has with both the Dresden Philharmonic and its Principal Conductor:  the aim of this platform is to attract young international orchestral musicians, to ensure the future viability of the orchestra, and to enable the characteristic culture and sound of this special orchestra can be passed on to future generations.

In addition to this, he also teaches as a professor at the Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts and regularly works with the Federal Youth Orchestra, Jerusalem Weimar Youth Orchestra, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. From 2003 to 2013, he was engaged at the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie as a Principal Conductor.