Michael Sanderling (born 21 February 1967 in Berlin) is a German conductor and violoncellist.
Michael Sanderling, son of the contrabassist Barbara Sanderling and the conductor Kurt Sanderling, got his first cello lessons at the age of five in Berlin. At the age of eleven, he became student of Matthias Pfaender at the Spezialschule für Musik Berlin. The 17-year-old Sanderling was accepted at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" and studied with Josef Schwab. He took further lessons with William Pleeth, Yo-Yo Ma, Gary Hoffmann and Lynn Harrell. In 1987 he won a 1st prize at the Maria Canals International Music Competition. The same year, after his debut as a soloist, he was engaged as solo cellist of Kurt Masur's Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra where he stayed until 1992. From 1994 to 2006 he was guest solo cellist at the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (East Berlin). From 1994 to 1998 he was academic at Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler". In 1998 he started teaching at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. Between 2000 and 2003 he was also professor at Hochschule der Künste Bern.
Sanderling lives with his wife in Berlin.
Artistic career as a violoncellist
Orchestras which have invited Sanderling to perform as cello soloist include the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Vienna Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His chamber music partners have included Elisabeth Leonskaja, Julia Fischer, Martin Helmchen and Veronika Eberle. He was member of the Trio Ex Aequo from 1988 to 1996. Michael Sanderling ended his career as a cello soloist in 2010. He now devotes his time to teaching and his conducting career.
Artistic career as a conductor
Michael Sanderling made his debut as a conductor leading the Kammerorchester Berlin in a concert on November 25, 2000 at the Berliner Philharmonie. Since then, he gradually took over conducting engagements. In 2003 he became principal conductor of the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie with whom he performed in Germany's renowned concert halls, at the Dresdner Musikfestspielen, the Festspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in Montenegro, Norway, China and Malaysia as well as at the Young Euro Classic in Berlin. From 2006 to 2010, Sanderling was principal conductor and artistic director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. During this time, he conducted the opera The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass, led a Germany tour in 2007 with Julia Fischer and Daniel Müller-Schott as well as conducting performances at the Rheingau Musik Festival and a tour in Spain in 2009. In 2009, Sony released a CD of works for small orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich recorded with the Kammerakademie Potsdam under Michael Sanderling's baton.
In 2010, the Dresden Philharmonic elected Michael Sanderling as their chief conductor. He took office in succession to Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos starting the 2011/2012 season. In 2011, he conducted the new production of Sergei Prokofiev's opera "War and Peace" at the Cologne Opera. In 2012 his contract as chief conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic was extended up to and including the 2018/19 season.
Michael Sanderling is a regular guest of various renowned orchestras, amongst which the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Munich Philharmonic, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne.
CD-Releases as a conductor
- GENUIN classics (2012, Dresden Philharmonic, Gabriel Fauré, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Capriccio Italien, Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet
- BIS (2011, Schnyder, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin)
- GENUIN classics (2010, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky/Béla Bartók, Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie)
- SONY (2009, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, Kammerakademie Potsdam)
- CPO, BERLIN CLASSICS, NAXOS