Notes from the Heart, Part 3: A Welcome DiversionRead more
A hospital is not supposed to be a place you go for thoughts and reflection. Everyone is there to make you better. But sometimes a question can come up from one of the staff that causes you to think outside the box.
After a couple days, I was told that it was time to take a little walk in the hallway. This was not easy, considering that I was hooked up to various medical devices, not to mention the pain from the surgery. There were others doing the same thing, all of us moving at the speed of the zombies in Night of the Living Dead. Most were accompanied by nurses and sometimes a friend or relative.
DSO to Honor Music Director Leonard Slatkin at Annual Heroes GalaRead more
June 6, 2018
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will honor philanthropists Penny & Harold Blumenstein and Music Director Leonard Slatkin at the eighth annual Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert on Saturday, June 23. Proceeds from the gala will support the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music education.
Notes from the Heart, Part 2: The ProcedureRead more
Musicians hate, really hate, getting up early in the morning. That is why orchestra rehearsals don’t start until around 10 a.m. So I felt both lethargy and anxiety when I arrived at the University of Michigan Medical Center at 5:30 a.m. to begin preparations for the day’s events.
After the tests that were given the day before, I received clearance to move forward with the procedure. It struck me as odd that I had to pass tests to determine if I was well enough to fix a major disease. What would have happened if I had a cold, or worse? Knowing that the blockage in my arteries was above 90%, it was not impossible to envision another heart attack while waiting to recover from an unrelated illness.
Notes from the Heart, Part 1Read more
On November 1, 2009, my heart attacked me.
It was a sneak attack, as six weeks prior I was informed by my general practitioner that a physical exam showed me to be in good health. Over the succeeding years I modified my diet but never really followed anything strict.
Eight-and-a-half years later, I entered the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center for a triple bypass coronary procedure, an attempt to prevent any further disease. The problem was spotted a few days prior to the surgery, thankfully caught in time before another heart attack.
The next few months are now devoid of conducting activities. So instead of the usual music diary, I will be writing about many different topics, most related to health but also a few things that swirled around in my mind during convalescence. Perhaps my tale might help others in recognizing the signs and preventing problems in the future. If not, I hope this makes a decent story.
Slatkin Withdraws from Concerts through JuneRead more
May 4, 2018
Leonard Slatkin announced today that he regrettably must withdraw from his upcoming conducting dates this May and June. Maestro Slatkin will undergo heart bypass surgery next week and is expected to be fully recovered in about three months.
MAY 2018Read more
It seemed to take forever, but spring finally arrived. With snow on the ground right through the middle of the month, Detroit was poised for a continuing winter. However, the chill disappeared in Orchestra Hall with a program that warmed the soul.
The star was our concertmaster, Yoonshin Song, who delivered a magnificent reading of the Second Bartok Concerto. In complete command of this fiendishly difficult work, she made it seem less a virtuoso vehicle and more of a rhapsodic carriage. With her wide command of dynamics, expressive approach to the lyrical passages and faultless intonation, it was one of the best collaborations I have ever experienced in this amazing piece.
Leonard Slatkin’s Conducting School, Lesson Nineteen: Putting It All Together, Part FourRead more
April 15, 2018
In this final episode of the Conducting School series, Leonard Slatkin addresses the decisions a conductor must make in the second through fourth movements of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
Rave Reviews of Mahler’s “Resurrection” in WarsawRead more
April 3, 2018
Slatkin’s concert with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Beethoven Easter Festival received an overwhelmingly favorable response from the critics and audience alike. The program paired Ravel’s “Kaddisch” from Deux mélodies hébraïques with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.
APRIL 2018Read more
The groundhog was right. No signs of spring at all during my four-week trip to Europe. Maybe they should try Katowice Katy instead of Punxsutawney Phil.
I am not exactly sure why we did it, but in Lyon it was decided that we would undertake a two-week Scandinavian Festival. This provided an opportunity to revisit a couple of symphonies that I dearly love as well as one new piece that was most enjoyable to conduct and play. Sibelius seems to go in and out of fashion, and today we have a number of Finnish conductors who have brought him back to life.
Leonard Slatkin’s Conducting School, Lesson Eighteen: Putting It All Together, Part ThreeRead more
March 15, 2018
In this episode, Leonard Slatkin deals with a few of the technical problems that a conductor needs to solve in the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, including decisions about tempo changes, fermatas, crescendos, and repeats.