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The Revered German Conductor Kurt Sanderling Has Died At 98

Kurt Sanderling , the world-famous German conductor , has died at the venerable age of 98 ,just two days before what would have been his 99th birthday.  His long and distinguished career ended only in 2002, when he reitred at the age of 90 , after nearly seven decades conducting the world's greatest orchestras.

Sanderling was born in East Prussia in 1912 , a part of north-eastern Germany which now belongs to Poland to a Jewish family .  He studied in Berlin and began working as a rehearsal pianist in German opera companies before beginning a promsing career as a conductor, but when the *** came to power in the 1930s, he fled, not to the west but to the Soviet Union , where he became associate conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic under the legendary Russian conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky , settling in the former East Germany after the war, where he led the Berlin symphony, not to be confused with the much more famous Berlin Philharmonic ,then in West Berlin ,and built it into a major ensemble .

He also served in the 60s as music director of the August Dresden Staatskapelle . Most of his career was confined to the Eastern bloc until the 1980s, when he began to appear regularly with London's Philharmonia orchestra, beginning at the end of the legndary Otto Klemperer's reign with the orchestra in the early 70s, and throughout Europe and America.

  In addition to the traditional Germanic repertoir of Beethoven,Brahms, Schumann, Bruckner and Mahler etc, Sanderling became famous for his authoritative performances of the music of Russian composers such as Shostakovich and Prokofiev, and was a close friend of the latter, whose grim and powerful symphonies he champined. 

In America, he formed a close bond with the Los Angeles Philharmonic after his debut with the orchestra in the early 80s , and also appeared with the Cleveland orchestra and New York Philharmonic.  Sanderling's recordings of the four Brahms symphonies with the Dresden orchestra from the 70s are considered among the finest of these classic works ever made by many critics, and he also recorded the first Digital set of all nine Beethoven symphonies in the 80s with the Philharmonia. He has also left recordings with such orchestras as the Leningrad(now St.Petersburg) Philharmonic, the Berlin symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio symphony of Munich , and other leading orchestras. 

Sanderling is one of the last remaining old titans of the podium. His three sons Thomas, Stefan, and Michael are well-known conductors in their own wright .  Stefan is currently music director of the Florida orchestra a and Toledo, Ohio symphony, and Michael has just been appointed chief conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic , the other orchestra of that city.

Posted: Sep 19 2011, 05:54 PM by the horn | with no comments
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