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Thomas Sanderling (Conductor)

Thomas Sanderling grew up in St.Petersburg, where his father Kurt Sanderling was conductor of the St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. After graduating from the Music School of the Leningrad Conservatory he studied conducting at the Hochschule fuer Musik in East-Berlin. At the age of 24 he became the Music Director of the Halle Opera. At an early age he appeared frequently with the leading East German orchestras and opera houses, including the Dresden Staatskapelle and Leipzig Gewandhaus.

 He won the Berlin Critics’ Prize for his opera performances at the Komische Oper (Berlin).

After Shostakovich heard him with the State Orchestra of Russia, the composer asked him to give the German premieres of his 13th and 14th symphonies and this relationship also saw him make the world premiere recording of ‘The Michelangelo Suite’, Shostakovich’s last orchestral work.

This CD led to the assistant work for Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan.

Thomas Sanderling has conducted extensively on the international stage, with orchestras in North America including the National, Dallas, Baltimore and Vancouver Symphonies, in Europe with the Royal Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki Philharmonics, and in the UK the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. He is also a regular guest conductor of Radio Orchestras in the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

In Japan he won the Grand Prix of the Osaka Critics twice in three years and in 1992 became Music Director of the Osaka Symphoniker. This Orchestra recently awarded Thomas Sanderling with the title Music Director Laureate for Lifetime.

Thomas Sanderling is equally acclaimed for his operatic work. He was Permanent Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin from 1978 to 1983 ( when he moved to the West ), where through the years he conducted an extensive repertory of operas by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Wagner, Verdi, Smetana, Dvorak Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, etc. Other notable appearances include the Vienna Staatsoper – ‘Die Zauberflцte’ ( after that his Vienna Debut the Wiener Kurier wrote “….a new conductor from Berlin gave us a Mozart full of mysteries. Astonishing.”), and ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ (first performance after the death of Karl Boehm)- and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Hamburg State Opera.

He has also conducted ‘ Die Zauberflцte’ at La Fenice – the last Ponnelle production – and ‘Don Giovanni’ at the Royal Danish Opera and the Finnish National Opera.

Thomas Sanderling enjoys a strong relationship with the St.Petersburg Philharmonic where he has appeared in concert regularly. His CD of Mahler’s 6th Symphony with the orchestra – its first Mahler recording – achieved great success, culminating in a Cannes Classical Award in 1998. His following CDs of the Complete Brahms Symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra London achieved similar recognition and attracted critics’ prizes in record magazines throughout the world.

Since 2002 Sanderling is also Guest Conductor of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2004 he became Principal Guest Conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia.

In June 2005 he conducted two CD recordings for Deutsche Grammophon with Shostakovich Premiers, which received a high acclaim of the critics. Those CD’s became “The Editor’s Choice” In the September 2006 issue of The Gramophone in London.

Thomas Sanderling appeared in recent years with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Tchaikovsky Radio-Symphony Orchestra in Moscow (Mahler 9.) and on their tour in Germany (Tchaikovsky 6), the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, the Mariinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg (Lohengrin), etc.

Recently Thomas Sanderling successfully conducted several revivals of Shostakovich’s “ Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk Region “ and several revivals of the “Magic Flute” (staging by Graham Wick) at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Since 2006 Thomas Sanderling conducted a number of Shostakovich Premiers in performances and recordings in close co-operation with Irina Shostakovich, the composers widow.

In May and September 2007 he conducted very successful concerts with MDR Symphonie Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Philharmonie in Cologne and with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio at the Gasteig in Munich.

In the spring of 2008 Thomas Sanderling had his first successful co-operation with the stage director Daniele Abbado (son of Claudio) on his new version of Eisenstein’s film “Alexander Nevskij” with Prokoffiev’s Cantata.

In recent years Thomas Sanderling recorded the complete orchestral works by Taneyev for Naxos.

Future planes include amongst other concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonc Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, with the State Svetlanov Orchestra of Russia, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, a number of performances of works by Shostakovitch at many different orchestras and festivals, opera performances at the Mariinsky Theatre and the Bolshoi Theatre, concerts with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia in Germany, Recordings for Sony Classical International, Orfeo, Naxos etc., etc. Concerts with the Sydney Symphony, Malayasian Philharmonic etc.

CD recordings with the Halle Orchestra Manchester and the Bournemouth Symphony.

New production of Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth” at the Goeteborg Opera with Graham Wick as stage director beginning of 2012.

Also with Graham Wick a new production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the National Center of Performing Arts in Bejing in May 2012 etc., etc.

In February 2006 Thomas Sanderling, who has been the Novosibirsk Symphony’s Guest Conductor since 2002, took part in a concert tour of the orchestra to Europe (France, Switzerland). In September 2007 he, together with Fabio Mastrangelo received a status of the Principal Guest Conductor. Since 2005 till 2008 he recorded with the orchestra 5th Symphony by S.Prokofiev and «Romeo and Juliet» by P.Tchaikovsky for Audite company, and on an order of Naxos company they recorded all symphonies and some others opuses by S.Taneev.

T.Sanderlings CD with Shostakovich Premiers was chosen by Classics Today (New York) as the only Deutsche Grammophon recording amongst the 20 Best CD’s of the Year 2007.

His recording of the 4. Symphony by Taneyev (Naxos) was recently chosen as the “CD of the Month” in Fono Forum, the leading publication of critics in Germany.

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