German conductor Kurt Sanderling, known especially for his interpretations of Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Sibelius and Shostakovich, was born on 19 September 1912 at Arys in East Prussia (now Orzysz in Poland) to Jewish parents. He studied piano (in Königsberg and Berlin) and then began his career as a repetiteur, assisting Klemperer, Kleiber and Furtwängler in Berlin.
He moved to Moscow in 1936, and worked as conductor of the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra before moving (in 1941) to the job as joint chief conductor (shared with Yevgeny Mravinsky) of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1960 he returned to East Germany as chief conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and made various guest appearances in other European cities, including a London debut in 1970 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and later work (from 1980) with the Philharmonia Orchestra. He also worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sanderling, a friend of Berthold Goldschmidt and Dmitri Shostakovich, retired from conducting in 2002 and died on 17 September 2011, aged 98.