Author archive for leonard slatkin

  • APRIL 2020

    Well, here we are, mostly stuck at home—some working, others studying, and many trying to figure out what to do to fill the time. For me, the month started quietly, but by the time I started rehearsing with the DSO for planned performances of Carmina Burana, the World Health Organization had declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and life in the United States began to change. The next few days brought concert cancellations, starting with those in Detroit.

    Next it was with the young musicians of The Orchestra Now at Bard College in New York. We were supposed to play a program in Manhattan, but the school shut down classes, and you just cannot rehearse an orchestra virtually.

    Read more
  • “The Slatkin Shuffle” Radio Show Now Available On-Demand

    March 30, 2020

    Leonard Slatkin’s radio show, “The Slatkin Shuffle,” which airs on Classic 107.3 FM in St. Louis, is now available worldwide for free online listening. Join Leonard as he plays random selections and shares anecdotes about his eclectic playlist.

    Read more
  • MARCH 2020

    ¡Viva España!

    It is not often that I get to spend a whole month in a country other than the United States. The couple of times it has occurred, I was involved in an opera production, when you have to hang around through the rehearsals and performances. This past month, following the week in Dublin, Cindy and I headed for Spain, where I had two weeks of concerts and two weeks of sightseeing.

    Starting off in Mallorca, I was in familiar territory. Having conducted there a couple years ago, I knew the orchestra and most of the city. As with so many European ensembles, the Balearic Orchestra does its rehearsing in a studio, away from the concert hall where it performs. Although I have written about this situation before, it bears repeating. The hall is to the orchestra as the violin is to the violinist. Imagine soloists needing to practice using one instrument but doing the final rehearsal and performance on another. Yes, I know that pianists have the same, if not a worse problem, but they can still develop their own personal sounds and styles by themselves.

    Read more
  • St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra Celebrates 50 Years

    February 19, 2020

    To mark the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra’s 50th anniversary, alumni returned to share memories of the lasting impact of their experience. Their stories were the focus of a recent episode of “Living St. Louis” on The Nine Network.

    Read more
  • FEBRUARY 2020

    Between impeachment and Brexit, working in the States and Europe is provoking more questions than answers. Good thing that I could concentrate on some truly wonderful music-making during the first month of the New Year.

    Before heading east, Cindy and I went out to LA, visiting Daniel and Bridget for a few days. After a half year of marriage, they are doing great, and both have really exciting projects ahead. We spent a lovely New Year’s Eve with her family, and the next day had dinner with Jeff Beal and his wife, Joan. Daniel and I also took in the ninth installment of Star Wars. It seemed to wrap up the story, but it also seemed just a bit cumbersome in having to deal with so many threads from the past films. Still, being old enough to have seen them all in a theater, I can say that it has been a true pleasure. Watching the cycle grow and reach several generations is a thing of wonder.

    Read more
  • JANUARY 2020

    As the clock approaches midnight, it still seems appropriate to have a look back. December was a month that began with sadness for Cindy and me but ended with an even greater appreciation for friends and family.

    Charles McTee passed away at age 91, about seven months after his wife Jaquelin died. It is difficult enough losing one parent, but two in the same year is truly heartbreaking. I first got to know Chuck and Jackie about ten years ago, and they were a wonderful addition to my family.

    They lived all their lives in the small town of Eatonville, Washington, she as a teacher and he as a businessman. Their love and respect for each other was on display every minute. It was evident that they had raised two fantastic daughters, Christy, who lived nearby, and Cindy.

    Read more
  • DECEMBER 2019

    There was a lot of meat, some stuffing and a bit of corn on the table. No, I am not talking about the Thanksgiving meal, but rather the musical buffet that made up the month of November.

    One of the benefits of having more weeks available for guest conducting has been the opportunity to visit orchestras I have not conducted in quite a while. Buffalo, Rochester and Toronto filled that bill. Detroit was sandwiched in there, but now I return as the music director laureate, a job more like a guest conductor with a few additional administrative responsibilities.

    Read more
  • Rave Reviews for GRAMMY-Nominated Copland Recording

    November 22, 2019

    Leonard Slatkin’s recording with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra of Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid and Grohg has garnered widespread critical acclaim and a Best Orchestral Performance GRAMMY nomination for Slatkin and the DSO.

    Read more
  • GRAMMY Nomination for Copland’s “Billy the Kid” and “Grohg” with DSO

    November 20, 2019

    Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have been nominated for a GRAMMY award in the Best Orchestral Performance category for their recording of Copland’s Billy the Kid and Grohg.

    Read more
  • NOVEMBER 2019

    Journeys unknown and paths less taken were part of last month’s itinerary. After a leisurely jaunt through most of Ireland, it was back to work in a very unusual setting. But there were also visits to the familiar and celebrations to be had.

    Being on the freelance circuit has some built-in advantages. For me, it is an opportunity to drop into parts of the musical world I have never seen as well as traverse long-desired destinations. Ireland was certainly one of those, but it was also a chance for Cindy to connect with a large part of her family heritage.

    Read more