Conductor Kurt Sanderling dies, 98

Kurt Sanderling, an often acclaimed German-born conductor who spent most of his career in the Communist world after finding refuge from the Nazis there during World War II, died on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Berlin. He was 98. Sanderling was born in Arys (Orzysz), East Prussia, to Jewish parents. After early work at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he left for Russia in 1936, where he worked with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1942 to 1960 he was joint principal conductor with Yevgeny Mravinsky of the Leningrad Philharmonic. As a German refugee with a broad cultural outlook, he grew very close to Dmitri Shostakovich. Sanderling had conducted several major symphony orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who had asked Sanderling to be the permanent conductor of the orchestra, however, Sanderling's commitments made him refuse the offer.