Principal Conductor

Michael Sanderling

Chief Conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester


Michael Sanderling has been chief conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester since 2021.

His appointment followed a successful collaboration over many years, with a common goal of further developing the orchestra in late Romantic repertoire such as Bruckner, Mahler and Strauss.
Since the start of his tenure as chief conductor, several highly-acclaimed CDs have been released. These include a Brahms cycle released in 2023 by Warner Classics, with the four symphonies as well as his ‘fifth’ – a piano quartet orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg – and a recording of the Schumann and Grieg piano concertos with Elisabeth Leonskaja.
Under Michael Sanderling’s direction, the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester has toured Asia, South America and Germany. Their performance of Shostakovich’s 10th symphony at the Wiener Konzerthaus, accompanied by William Kentridge’s animated film ‘Oh to Believe in Another World’, attracted particular attention. This work had previously been premiered at the KKL Luzern and the Pompeii Theatrum Mundi festival.

As a guest conductor, Michael Sanderling directs leading orchestras around the world. These include the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

From 2011 to 2019 Michael Sanderling was chief conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic. During this time he raised the orchestra’s profile, establishing it as one of Germany’s leading ensembles. He performed with them both on the concert stage in Dresden and on numerous international tours, and recordings of the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Shostakovich for Sony Classical are a testament to this. Prior to this he was chief conductor of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, where he was artistic director from 2006 to 2011.

In addition to the recordings mentioned above, Michael Sanderling’s extensive discography includes recordings of major works by Dvořák, Schumann, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, as well as works for cello and orchestra by Bloch, Korngold, Bruch and Ravel with Edgar Moreau and the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester.

In 2011 he conducted the new production of Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘War and Peace’ at Cologne Opera, for which he was voted ‘Conductor of the Year’ by Opernwelt magazine.

Michael Sanderling is a passionate supporter of young musicians. He teaches at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, and also works regularly with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. From 2003 to 2013 he was chief conductor of youth orchestra the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie.

Michael Sanderling | Luzerner Sinfonieorchester - Rachmaninoff and Beethoven

Michael Sanderling at KKL Luzern

Michael Sanderling im KKL Luzern

The opening concert of the season 2021/22

Michael Sanderling

Our Principal Conductor

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