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Sanderling selected to lead orchestra

German-born Stefan Sanderling is the new music director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Sanderling, also music director of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa-St. Petersburg and principal conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, succeeds Uriel Segal, who stepped down at summer's end after 18 years as Chautauqua music director.

Since his North American debut at the 1989 Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, Sanderling, 43, has risen to the top of his generation of German conductors.

He has guest-conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony and the Indianapolis, Vancouver and Ottawa orchestras, among others.

In 2006, Sanderling, who first conducted at Kleinhans Music Hall in 1998, led the Philharmonic's performance of Mozart's Fourth Horn Concerto and G Minor Symphony, in celebration of the composer's 250th birthday.

A native of East Berlin, he received early artistic inspiration from his parents, the conductor Kurt Sanderling and the double-bass player Barbara Sanderling. His half brother is the conductor Thomas Sanderling, and his brother Michael is a cellist. C Stefan Sanderling studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Kurt Masur, then moved to the United States to continue his studies at the University of Southern California. He also attended the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, winning several awards, and Tanglewood, where he worked with Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin and Yuri Termikanov.

Known for his interpretation of Dmitri Shostakovich's music, he has led such European orchestras as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia of London, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mozarteum of Salzburg, Austria, and Prague Symphony, as well as numerous German symphonies.

Sanderling, who has been a guest conductor at Chautauqua, praised the 75-member orchestra's "commitment to excellence and extraordinary camaraderie."

Marty W. Merkley, Chautauqua Institution vice president and director of programming, called him "a wonderful fit for Chautauqua and the [Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra]."

Sanderling is married to the cellist Isabelle Besancon, who formerly played in the Orchestre de Bretagne, where they met.

Founded in 1929, the Chautauqua Symphony is in residence for eight weeks of the Institution's nine-week summer festival on Chautauqua Lake.

Its member musicians come from cities and orchestras across the United States and three foreign countries.


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