Author archive for leonard slatkin

  • What Happened to My City?

    Moving back to this city was supposed to be a return to the civility associated with the Midwest. St. Louis is the place where most of my happiest days have been spent. Sure, there have been troubling incidents in the past, and dangers continue to lurk as we grapple with the coronavirus.

    Read more
  • JULY 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 6

    Facing the facts is a rough business. Those of us in the arts are dreamers, always seeking to find what is next. But what if there is no next? We have come to an important crossroad during this pandemic that is forcing each of us to consider options that were at one time unthinkable.

    These actions will have consequences not only for us in the orchestra business, but also for musicians in every sector of the performing world. The possibility that our work, which has come to a standstill, might disappear altogether is slowly sinking in. Consequently, soul-searching and devising workable solutions are at the forefront of our thinking.

    Read more
  • JUNE 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 5

    In the 1980s there was a popular television show called The A-Team. The leader of the group, Hannibal—not Dr. Lecter—had a motto, heard on each episode: “I love it when a plan comes together.” One has to wonder what he said when it did not.

    As we reach the four-month mark of the viral wars in America, several strategies have taken shape for easing restrictions, with some succeeding and others being met with a surge in cases. The separation anxieties are subsiding in Europe as arts organizations experiment with socially distanced performances but meanwhile increasing in the States as uncertainty looms. Amid the continuing protests, calls for parts of history to be dismantled, and a justice system careening ever more out of control, the United States of America might as well drop the first word of the country’s name.

    Read more
  • JUNE 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 4

    The sound you have been hearing of late is that of shoes dropping. More than three months into the isolation from normalized civilization, a few things are becoming clear.

    We are a nation divided in a world that is more insular. Equality seems to be just a word, devoid of meaning for many. The great experiment called democracy is seeing itself torn apart, and we are barely hanging on to our constitutional rights. Our diverse musical culture is trying its best to be relevant, but at the same time, there is no way for artists to do what they do best: communicate in person.

    Read more
  • JUNE 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 3

    Perspective has a way of reshaping our priorities. For the past two weeks, we have witnessed events that either remind us of earlier times or, for the younger set, are unlike anything we have ever experienced. Now we can truly say “The Whole World Is Watching.”

    I remember 1968 very well. Although my heart and soul went into my studies, it was impossible to be immune to the scenes in Grant Park—and in major cities and college towns across the country—as Americans were reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy as well as the continuing conflict in Vietnam. Here we find ourselves once again, grappling with social and political unrest and physical acts of violence that are changing on a daily basis. This time, however, our war is not against an enemy in a faraway country, and we know why we are fighting.

    Read more
  • JUNE 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 2

    A little over a week ago, I wrote at length about what concert life might look like as we get to September and October, the start of the cultural season. I considered matters of orchestra size, social distancing among musicians and audience members, how to accommodate subscribers, and other pressing matters.

    In the short time between that article and this one, I have heard from a number of people in the profession, many of whom are trying to formulate similar thoughts and put a plan in place. My piece left out some factors that must be considered, each of them affecting the process of returning to the concert hall. Perhaps it might be easiest for me to address some of these issues by framing them in the form of questions:

    Read more
  • JUNE 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 1

    Nearly three months into the process of isolating ourselves physically from the rest of society, members of the arts world find themselves struggling to come up with solutions for how to return, if we really do, to a more regular pattern of life. This has given us a lot to think about, and this pondering has produced some interesting experiments.

    Performances are given with musicians all over the world participating, their images projected onto our devices as if they were an extended version of the Brady Bunch. I was involved in one webinar with eight other people and found myself in the middle of the three-across group. All of a sudden, I was Paul Lynde on the Hollywood Squares.

    Read more
  • RACHMANINOFF: Orchestral Music

    Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff Conductor: Leonard Slatkin Soloists: Walter Planté, tenor; Arnold Voketaitis, baritone; Mariana Christos, soprano; St. Louis Symphony Chorus…

    Read more
  • Leonard Slatkin Conducts Elgar

    Composer: Edward Elgar Conductor: Leonard Slatkin Soloists: Pinchas Zukerman, violin; János Starker, cello Orchestras: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony…

    Read more
  • Leonard Slatkin Conducts Vaughan Williams

    Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams Conductor: Leonard Slatkin Soloists: Hugh Bean, Violin; David Jones, cello; David Mason, flugelhorn; Thomas Allen, Baritone; Benita Valente, soprano; Jane…

    Read more