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.
MARCH 2018Read more
Even though my music directorship in Lyon has ended, the six-year tenure stayed very much in the forefront during the month of February. At this time, during the usually bitterly cold weather in Michigan, we put on a festival, in the past devoted to a single composer. With Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Mozart represented in previous seasons, it was time to try something different.
What could be more natural than bringing some of the repertoire from France back to Detroit? After all, the Motor City was founded in 1701 by the explorer and adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. It also happens that I drive one of his automobiles. Okay, so he really was from what is now part of Canada, but still, he did create this bustling town and give it a French moniker.
Leonard Slatkin’s Conducting School, Lesson Seventeen: Putting It All Together, Part TwoRead more
February 15, 2018
In this lesson, Maestro Slatkin returns to his score study of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, delving further into what the conductor does when he/she studies a piece of music and how to translate and interpret what is on the page.
DSO Kicks off February French FestivalRead more
February 4, 2018
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s fifth annual winter music festival will celebrate the music and culture of France, including six Orchestra Hall concerts conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “Le Max” (Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center) will buzz with additional special events, unique food and drink options, and Gallic spirit.