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Michael Sanderling

Michael Sanderling

Michael Sanderling is one of the outstanding conductors of his generation. Newly appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, he will take on this position starting the 2021/22 concert season. Michael Sanderling is distinguished in particular by his extraordinary musical integrity and depth and has made an international name for himself for his objective approach to music. Born in Berlin, he began his career as a cellist before turning more and more to conducting. The extremely versatile artist has a special passion for transparent sound, the most differentiated dynamics and clear structures. In July 2019, after eight highly successful years, Michael Sanderling ended his career as Chief Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. This era includes the recording of all symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich as well as 345 corporations in 78 countries.

Michael Sanderling is also the musical partner of many outstanding orchestras. He 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 Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. 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.