Michael Sanderling

Principal Conductor

Michael Sanderling © Markenfotografie

Michael Sanderling © Markenfotografie


In the 2018/19 season, Michael Sanderling serves in his eight season as Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic, which he opens with the 2nd Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven and the world premiere of the 4th Symphony by Fazil Say, commissioned by the Dresdner Philharmonie.

With the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Munich Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the German Radio Symphony Orchestras of WDR and SWR, Michael Sanderling is closely connected as guest conductor. He recently made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Orchestre de Paris. In the near future he will conduct for the first time the Berliner Philharmoniker, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow.
With the Dresden Philharmonic, Michael Sanderling regularly undertakes concert tours in Asia, South America, the U.S.A., Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Under the direction of Michael Sanderling, a recording of all the symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich is currently being produced in collaboration with SONY Classical.

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.

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. He has made several CD recordings as cellist of works by Dvořák, Schumann, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and others. 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.

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.