Artist of the day: Stefan Sanderling
When Stefan Sanderling spoke to Florida Orchestra musicians to begin his first rehearsal of the 2011-12 season with them, the music director didn't know quite what to say. For one thing, Sanderling had gone through a hard summer, spending seven weeks with his father, the legendary German conductor Kurt Sanderling, leading up to his death in September in Berlin one day short of his 99th birthday.
The rehearsal, for performances of Mahler's Seventh Symphony in late October, was also the first time Sanderling, who has been music director of the Orchestra since 2003-04, had been with the musicians since the orchestra announced in May that its music director would not be renewing his contract, which runs through the 2013-14 season.
"It was difficult to stand in front of the orchestra after this summer," Sanderling said in an interview during a lunch break between rehearsals later that week at Mahaffey Theater. "What was I going to say? I told them that this is my home here. You guys are my home. In good times, bad times, sad times, happy times, in victory, in defeat. This is my home. It definitely is my home for the next three years."
For more on Sanderling's closing tenure with the Florida Orchestra, click here for John Fleming's full story.