Thomas Sanderling is a German conductor.
Living in exile with his famous father, conductor Kurt Sanderling, Thomas Sanderling was born in the Soviet Union and began his education by studying violin at the special school of the Leningrad Conservatory.
In 1960 he began his studies at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin. In 1962, after winning a national conducting competition, he made his debut as a conductor, followed by further studies with Hans Swarowsky. He was assistant to Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein.
Thomas Sanderling started his career in Sondershausen and Reichenbach, before being appointed music director in Halle/Saale in 1966, where he began to discover and work on a wide range of repertoire in both concert and opera. In 1978 he made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper and later at the Bayerische Staatsoper, which was followed by his appointment to the position of permanent guest conductor at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. He eventually moved to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1983.
Between 1984 and 1986 he was principal conductor and artistic advisor of Amsterdam’s Philharmonisch Orkest. During his career he conducted all important orchestras as well as at many international opera houses, including Teatro La Fenice Venice, the Bolshoi Theater Moscow, the Mariinski Theater St. Petersburg, L’Opéra de Nice, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Hamburgische Staatsoper. International singers and instrumental soloists with whom he has worked include David Oistrach, Emil Gilels, Gidon Kremer, José van Dam, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Gundula Janowitz, Robert Holl, Rudolf Buchbinder, Natalia Gutman, Sergei Leiferkus, Paul Tortelier, Andrej Hoteev and Walter Berry.
He is a regular guest conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestras in Germany, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra Novosibirsk as well as the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia. Thomas Sanderling is one of the most important conductors of Russian repertoire nowadays. He is an important musical ambassador in this field.
Having attended Sanderling's Moscow debut, Shostakovitch asked the young musician to conduct the German first performance of his symphonies No. 13 and 14. On the request of the composer Sanderling also made the first German translation of both symphonies’ texts. After this he conducted the premiere CD recording of Shostakovich's "Michelangelo Suite”.
Sanderling's premiere CD recordings of Shostakovitch's Song Cycles for Orchestra on Deutsche Grammophon was selected as “The Editor's Choice” by the renowned UK music magazine The Gramophone. Several world premieres of Sanderling’s original text versions of song cycles by Dmitri Shostakovich followed, both in concert and as premiere live recordings in Munich with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. In May 2013 Sanderling will conduct the world premiere of the last opera by Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg, The Idiot after the novel by Dostoyevsky, at Nationaltheater Mannheim.
In October 2013 there will be other Shostakovich premieres with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and baritone Gerald Finley.
The Osaka Symphony Orchestra, with which Sanderling twice won the local critics’ prize, appointed him “Music Director Laureate for his Lifetime”.