June 25, 2018
Leonard Slatkin returned to Orchestra Hall stage this past Saturday, June 23, leading the encore at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s eighth annual Heroes Gala concert.
Slatkin, conducting for the first time since undergoing triple bypass heart surgery on May 8, led the orchestra in his father Felix Slatkin’s country-and-western style arrangement of music by Bizet entitled Carmen’s Hoedown. The DSO recently concluded Leonard Slatkin’s tenth and final season as music director before he becomes music director laureate next season.
Earlier in the evening, Slatkin and longtime DSO supporters Penny and Harold Blumenstein received the DSO’s 2018 Heroes Award, which each year is given to those who have greatly impacted the vision and values of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The gala, attended by 250 guests, raised nearly $1.2 million to support the DSO’s education and community engagement programs, which serve students, teachers, families, and adults across Southeast Michigan and around the world through Classroom Edition webcasts.
Prior to enjoying a post-concert dinner in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, guests were treated to a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conductor Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra and former DSO assistant conductor. Highlights included a surprise appearance by Leonard Slatkin’s son, composer Daniel Slatkin, who guest conducted the DSO in the world premiere of his new work, In Fields, written in honor of his father; a tribute to the Blumensteins for their longtime support of the DSO, including the recent Penny and Harold Blumenstein Future Audiences Fund, which provided for $1 tickets to any student and teacher in Detroit to attend the orchestra’s Educational Concert Series; and performances by special guests vocalist Storm Large and pianist Michel Camilo.