Born in East Berlin in 1964, the son of the late legendary conductor Kurt Sanderling, Stefan Sanderling studied musicology at the University of Halle and conducting at the conservatory in Leipzig before leaving East Germany to continue his studies in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California.
From 1990 to 1995, Sanderling became one of Germany’s youngest conductors to take the position of General Music Director at the Brandenburgische Philharmonie and the Potsdam Opera. He was Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Staatstheater in Mainz 1995-2001 and served as Music Director of the Orchestre de Bretagne in France (1996-2004), before taking up his post as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra (2002-2012). He was Music Director of the Chautauqua Symphony orchestra 2007-2011 and he has been Principal Conductor and Music Advisor of the Toledo Symphony since 2002.
Sanderling was Awarded the Kilenyi Medal of Honor (Bruckner Medal) by the Board of Directors of the Bruckner Society of America for his contribution to the works of Anton Bruckner in April 2012, which included the performance of all of Bruckner’s symphonies with the Toledo Symphony over an 11 year period. He and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra experienced a notably successful debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the “Spring for Music” series, performing the music of Previn and Shostakovich.
As a leading international conductor of his generation, his worldwide guest conducting appearances include the Bamberg Symphony, Berliner Staatskapelle, Bournemouth Symphony, KonzerthausOrchester Berlin, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra (Salzburg), NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, NTO (Vienna), Philharmonia Orchestra London, Prague Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic London, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Vienna Radio Symphony. Mr. Sanderling has also guest conducted at both the Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper in Berlin. He made debuts in Australia with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and in Japan with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. His highly successful debut with the NHK Symphony of Tokyo has resulted in regular appearances with that orchestra and several other orchestras in Tokyo and throughout Japan.
Also an active recording artist, Stefan Sanderling made his first recording on the Sony Classics label with the London Symphony Orchestra, quickly followed by three CDs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring symphonies by Haydn and Mendelssohn. For Naxos, he has recorded the complete Tchaikovsky Orchestral Suites with the RTE National Orchestra of Ireland and Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. During his time as Music Director of the Orchestre de Bretagne he recorded and released fourteen CDs in all, some featuring early French music. In early 2012, he recorded works by Frederick Delius with The Florida Orchestra, for the Naxos label.
As of January 2016 Stefan Sanderling has assumed his new post as Chief Conductor of the “Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Liechtenstein”