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.