Thomas Sanderling

Thomas Sanderling was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra from 1992 until 2002, and then Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra from Summer 2017 until March 2022.

He grew up in St. Petersburg, where his father - the eminent conductor Kurt Sanderling - was permanent conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Thomas Sanderling was appointed Music Director of the Halle Opera at the age of 24. By his mid-twenties, Sanderling was already conducting and appreciated by Dresden Staatskapelle, the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig and at the Komische OperBerlin.

His premiere recording of Shostakovich's last orchestral work Michelangelo Suite (orchestral accompaniment version, with Hermann Christian Polster (bass) and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra) led Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein to using him as assistant in several projects.

In the early 1980s, Sanderling became permanent guest conductor of the Deutsche Staatsoper, and made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper conducting Die Zauberflöte (“A Mozart full of mysteries...Astonishing!”, Wiener Kurier) and Le Nozze di Figaro. He has won many prizes – including an OPUS KLASSIK Award for his recording of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Thomas Sanderling has conducted many of the world’s finest orchestras and opera companies, including the Baltimore Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, The Hallé Manchester, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Oslo Philharmonic, PhilharmoniaOrchestra London, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, WDR Symphony, London Philharmonic and the OrchestreSymphonique de Montreal, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburg State Opera, MariinskyTheatre, Finnish National Opera and Teatro La Fenice.

He has recorded for many labels including DGG (Shostakovich Gramophone Editor's Choice), BIS ( 2 Cannes Classical Awards) and Chandos. His recording for Sony Classical was CD of the Month in several CD Magazines in Tokyo (Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev 2 Violin Concertos with Mayuko Kamio and the HalléManchester). His recording of Mahler’s Symphony No 6 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic became a reference recording at Tony Duggan's Critical Survey of Mahler CDs and won another Cannes Classical Award. His recording of Brahms's Complete Symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra London earned wide praises internationally. Also, Sanderling has actively recorded the works by Albéric Magnard, Karl Weigl, Paul Kletzki, Taneyev and others.

Thomas Sanderling had a successful Moscow debut concert, conducting the State Orchestra of Russia at the invitation of Evgeny Svetlanov. In this concert Shostakovich was present. Greatly impressed he visited young Thomas Sanderling backstage. He invited him home, where Shostakovich handed him over the scores of his 13th and 14th Symphonies and entrusted Sanderling with the German Premiers. For those performances Shostakovich requested Sanderling to make text translation into German.

He enjoyed a close relationship with Dmitri Shostakovich for many years, and still works in close collaboration with his widow Irina Shostakovich. The first orchestral version of Six Romances on Verses by W. Raleigh, R. Burns and W. Shakespeare were believed to be lost, but recently they were found. And Irina gave the copy of the manuscript to Thomas. She asked him to make the world premiere. Sanderling conducted the world premiere of this “Six Romances on Verses by English Poets“ - first orchestration for a full orchestra” (op.62a) in English text versions edited by him and also premiered the “Suite on Verses by Michelangelo” in Italian text versions with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Gerald Finley (bass-baritone). And this Live recording of world premiere performances received The Pizzicato Supersonic Award and several other top rating internationally.

Prior to these premieres Sanderling conducted the world premieres in his Original English text versions of this Six Romances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the later second orchestration (op.62/140) and the English Folksongs. At this concert he also performed Shostakovich's 10th Symphony. This concert was recorded and broadcasted many times.

And recently Thomas Sanderling premiered together with the Dresden Staatskapelle at the Shostakovich Festival, also recently found, 3 brilliant Fragments from the time of the “NOSE”, finally reconstructed by Thomas Sanderling from the manuscript given to him by composer's widow Irina.

In these years, Thomas Sanderling has worked on numbers of Weinberg's works. The world premiere of “Requiem” with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013 he conducted the world premiere of the last opera “The IDIOT” at the National Theater Mannheim. In the 2015/16 season he conducted the Russian premiere of this opera at the Mariinsky in St. Petersburgh. With Stuttgart State Orchestra “Symphony No. 21, German premiere. Some successful German premieres with the Dresden Staatskapelle for example “Symphony No.7” in addition.

In September 2011 Thomas Sanderling was chosen to conduct the memorial concert of the 10. Anniversary of September 11 at the Pletnev Festival with the Russian National Orchestra in presence of the Israeli Ambassador. The main work of that concert was the Russian Premiere of the Kaddish Symphony by Leonard Bernstein.

Recent highlights have included a special concert with the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin on 6 October 2021 to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragic massacre (in the presence of the Israeli, German and Ukrainian Presidents) an acclaimed recording of Stravinsky and Sibelius for Accentus with the Philharmonia Orchestra (International Classical Music Awards 2019 Nomination); a return to Osaka Symphony Orchestra (he is the second Music Director and Permanent Conductor of this orchestra) and engagements with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Berlin Konzerthaus orchester. Spring 2022 saw Sanderling conducting the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, SaarländischesStaatsorchester, Staatskapelle Halle.

Beginnng of October Mr. Sanderling conducted the Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the opening of their season. Recent CD Prizes include the Echo Prize for the Violin Concertos : Shostakovich 2 + Tchaikovsky Urtext with Linus Roth and London Symphony Orchestra and Stravinsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra London, Zhi-Jong Wang, Accentus, International Classical Music Awards Nomination.

Thomas Sanderling worked together with many internationally renown soloists: (as a young beginner after winning a conducting Competition) David Oistrach, Emil Gillels, and later with Alexis Weissenberg, Gil Shaham, Maxim Vengerov (who recently put their live performance of the Shostakovich's 1. Violin Concerto on YouTube), Misha Maisky, Denis Matsuev, Lynn Harrell, Jose van Damm, Gerald Finley, Edita Gruberova, Paata Burchuladze, Peter Schreier, to name just few.

The Royal Music Society will reissue the Brahms Symphonies CD cycle with the Philharmonia Orchestra London in the early spring.

Link to Official Website