Michael Sanderling has said he will not renew his contract with Dresden Philharmonic because of unexpected budget cuts made by the city council. The conductor has led the group since 2011 and is popular with both audiences and the orchestra’s musicians.
In November it was announced that there would be a €250,000 reduction in the orchestra’s budget for 2017-18. Sanderling responded by writing a letter to Dresden mayor Annekatrin Klepsch in which he accused her of not doing enough to support one of the city’s most important cultural institutions.
While Sanderling did not resign, he stated: ‘I would like to inform you that I will not be ready for any extension after the expiration of my current contract in summer 2019.’
Klepsch has asked Sanderling to reconsider his move, and said his departure would be ‘a great loss’ for the city. However, she suggested he may have have an offer from another orchestra and that the fall out over the budget is a way of ‘staging his exit’.
Dresden Philharmonic is not the only institution to lose out: Dresden Music Festival has had its budget snipped by €300,000.