Kurt Sanderling.(Camera Press/NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. Today, it’s that of Kurt Sanderling, a conductor especially known for his interpretations of his friend Dimitri Shostakovich’s work, who died on Saturday in Berlin at 98. That locale means he had come full-circle: A Jew born in Germany (albeit a part of it that is now in Poland), he achieved early fame in the 1930s with the Berlin State Opera, before, y’know. He fled eastward and worked for the Moscow State Orchestra, and then was director of the Leningrad Philharmonic. In 1960, he came back to East Germany. His style of conducting, subtle and restrained, was contrasted with his contemporary Leonard Bernstein’s over-the-top exuberance. The German Jews versus the Ostjuden?

Kurt Sanderling, Eastern Bloc Conductor, Dies at 98 [NYT]