Michael Sanderling

Principal Conductor – Dresden Philharmonic


2018/19 is the eighth and final season Michael Sanderling will have served as Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic. The opening concerts of this season include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and the world premiere of Fazil Say’s Symphony No. 4 which has been commissioned by the Dresdner Philharmonie. With the orchestra, Michael Sanderling is currently recording the complete symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich in pairs, with albums featuring one work by each composer. Their most recent coupling of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 joins their expanding collection of highly acclaimed releases, which includes an album of both composers’ sixth symphonies, and another that pairs Beethoven’s third symphony with Shostakovich’s tenth. Of the latter, MusicWeb International wrote “Characteristically stylish and entirely compelling under Michael Sanderling, the Dresdner Philharmonie demonstrates its prowess in these Beethoven and Shostakovich masterworks.” During his tenure, Michael Sanderling and the orchestra have undertaken numerous tours across the world. This season, they will tour to Japan and South America.

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Recent News

Michael Sanderling to make Orchestre de Paris debut

Michael Sanderling makes his debut with Orchestre de Paris on Thursday 15 November, where he conducts Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Frank Martin’s Six Monologues of Jedermann with Matthias Goerne, and Liszt’s Dante Symphony in the Philharmonie. This season opened with...


“The dialogue between the woodwinds and the strings (and this first violin tuned a higher tone) is continuous, and very rich: the dissonant intervals do not interfere with the fluidity of the phrases… under the baton of the chef Michael Sanderling.”


Harmonie Selectives

“This inspiring Dresden cycle from Michael Sanderling can stand proudly alongside the above recordings and unless you need big-band Beethoven, this is one of the finest of the newer sets. In what feels like a labour of love, the Dresdner Philharmonie provide characteristically stylish and penetrating performances that are entirely compelling.”

Michael Cookson

MusicWeb International

“For over an hour, the Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse was unsurpassed under the leadership of Michael Sanderling… the symphonic structure was well-shaped, with a particular care taken to highlight the details of Bruckner’s rich sound palette… A revelation.” [Translated from French]

A.-M. Chouchan

La Dépêche

“Sanderling develops an energetically driven forward momentum and I felt a shiver run down my spine as the music rushes impetuously to an awe-inspiring conclusion of outward triumph. More than a match for most, Michael Sanderling and Dresdner Philharmonie give a performance that feels totally sincere with a marvellous sound.”

Michael Cookson

MusicWeb International

“Sweeping melodic lines were carefully nurtured, supported sympathetically and attentively by Sanderling…a very fine orchestral display under a conductor who really brought out the best of the “Dresden sound”.”

Mark Thomas


“Conductor Sanderling both conveyed and embodied the piece’s contained power, while the orchestra revelled in its drama and angst, rising to each of its magnificent climaxes.”

Jude Clarke

Cambridge Independent

…The defining feature of Sanderling’s performance was his patience with Bruckner’s characteristic stop-go style, letting the work breathe, appreciating the beauty in the composer’s lyrical paragraphs, and allowing the huge climaxes to build out of a natural preexisting flow… The conducting always found telling musical space, keen detailing and a sense of architecture. The conductor’s assimilation of Ländler style also secured dividends in many places, cultivating a natural lyrical pacing and eloquence… it was the contrasting sense of lyrical intimacy and the conductor’s unerring pacing throughout the movement that made the final brass statements so commanding and spiritually uplifting.

Geoffrey Newman

Seen and Heard International

… Michael Sanderling setzte mit dem russisch singenden Männerchor des Philharmonischen Chors im Gasteig nicht auf großes Pathos, auch nicht auf die grelle Groteske, sondern führte die Symphonie mit bewundernswertem, großformalem Überblick und handwerklicher Souveränität in ihr Zentrum: die Klage um unwiederbringlich verrinnende Lebenszeit in der Diktatur. …

Süddeutsche Zeitung

In this Lukaskirche, Dresden recording it is evident how Sanderling fully appreciates that this progressive score is music of extensive concentration, intensity and—as the designation—might suggest heroic power… With striking immediacy in the Finale, it feels as if the spirit of life has broken free with Sanderling’s swirling and dramatic power… Sanderling’s account of the Tenth Symphony is one of the finest I know. It can join the ranks of recommendable recordings that I most admire… Characteristically stylish and entirely compelling under Michael Sanderling, the Dresdner Philharmonie demonstrates its prowess in these Beethoven and Shostakovich masterworks.

Beethoven 3rd Symphony & Shoshtakovich 10th Symphony, Sony Classical

Music Web International

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