Author archive for leonard slatkin

  • New Recording Release: Kastalsky’s Requiem

    August 28, 2020

    The world-premiere recording of Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers was released by Naxos Records in its complete and revised, 17-movement version for orchestra, choir, and soloists. The album, which was recorded live in Washington National Cathedral, features the combined forces of multiple GRAMMY®-winning ensembles conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 16

    It is a late afternoon on a Thursday, sometime in mid-September. Sam and Janet are contemplating what to do that night.

    Sam: “I’m beat. Those kids at the office are driving me crazy.”

    Janet: “Why don’t you take a little nap? Oh, remember, tonight is the opening of the symphony season. Where did I put the tickets?”

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 15 (10:20 a.m., Aug. 18)

    “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
    —Harlan Ellison

    In 1998, the author of the quote above was given a task from the creator of the television series The X-Files.

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 14

     It is now the middle of August. If ever there was a confluence of important decisions to be made, this is the time. Schools are supposed to reopen, but conflicting directives and information are making that choice difficult. The political conventions are approaching, and we don’t have any idea of how they will look or sound. Protests continue to grow, and the enmity between sectors of the public and law enforcement seems greater than ever. Sports are experiencing the consequences, in some cases, of seemingly reckless behavior, thereby jeopardizing all participants.

    And then there is our small world of classical music. Most orchestras were expecting to start their seasons either in September or very early October. Some have cancelled all concerts until the new year, and a few have taken the entire 2020-21 season off the books. Others are holding out until the last possible moment, with the hope that some miracle will allow them to proceed in some form.

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 13

    There are some things that we are all supposed to do, certainly those of us in certain age brackets. The government demands some, our family and friends ask for others, and the medical community advises on several as well. It was time for what might be my final colonoscopy. When you reach eighty, and if you are in decent health, this procedure is considered unnecessary. I will be seventy-six next month. Don’t worry. I am not going to write anything about the invasion.

    Because we live in a different time, there is a new wrinkle in preparing for the operation. You have to get a COVID-19 test. All of us have watched and read about what it entails, but I thought that it might be useful for you to know how it actually works. This would apply equally to anyone who has to undergo surgery of any kind these days.

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 12

    New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore. Those are just a few of the orchestras that have announced they will not commence the fall season and do not plan to start up again until the holidays. The next seven days will certainly see more organizations do something similar.

    All of us want to return. The spring and summer vacation has lasted long enough. But now we add autumn to the list. All we need is winter and we will have completed the Vivaldi cycle, not to mention Tchaikovsky, Haydn, and Glazunov, to name a few. Perhaps those should be among the works we consider upon getting back to work.

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  • AUGUST 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 11

    It has been two months since I began writing about the impact of the coronavirus on the world of classical music. Sometimes, I have been prompted by developments in the news, and other times I have shared general ideas for potential future use as the industry recovers.

    Until now, I have not really addressed an important group: the staff. These are the people who mostly work behind the scenes. You don’t know their names or even what their jobs entail. However, without them, an orchestra cannot function. As opposed to the musicians, many of these workers need to continue doing their jobs while the crisis continues. That presents a real problem, one that every organization faces.

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  • Slatkin Writes “Road to Recovery” Series

    July 27, 2020

    While working on his third book, Leonard Slatkin has written a number of essays about the road to recovery for the orchestra industry. In this ongoing series, he has put forth such suggestions as programming concerts for smaller forces, opening up recording archives to keep audiences engaged, and taking advantage of local talent, among other ideas.

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  • JULY 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 10

    The cancel culture is out in full force. Almost every day brings news of yet another arts institution delaying the start of its season until the new year. When I began writing this series of articles, my greatest fear was that we were not going to be prepared for this eventuality. Now that it is here, what can be done to fill in the time?

    Although parts of Europe have opened up, most of the organizations across the pond have taken a conservative approach. They are presenting concerts, but for the most part, caution is being exercised. Here in America, we cannot get into a concert hall, and there is a lack of product available in the video market.

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  • Kastalsky Recording Available for Pre-Order

    July 23, 2020

    The world-premiere recording of Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers, a First World War remembrance, is now available for pre-sale. On August 28, Naxos will release the album in its complete and revised, 17-movement version for orchestra, choir, and soloists. In its first week of sales, the recording was the No. 1 bestselling classical pre-order on iTunes.

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