Leonard Slatkin’s second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, is now available! Get your copy here or anywhere fine books are sold.


“Having worked with Leonard Slatkin regularly for over twenty years, I have seen firsthand his dedication to the well-being of the orchestras he works with, his care for the music, his love of storytelling, his no-nonsense directness, and his belief in the universality of music’s message. … This book is entirely in his voice, an honest account of his experiences and conclusions from a lifetime invested in the arts and in leadership.”

—Hilary Hahn, Grammy-winning violinist

“Leonard Slatkin has written a book that both informs and entertains. He shares many genuine musical insights, provocative thoughts about the music business, and wonderful stories amassed from his life in music. His conversational style of writing makes it extremely readable, but more important he made me think and made me reexamine some of my own beliefs and musical ideas. This book is a treasure for all music lovers.”

—Henry Fogel, president emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and League of American Orchestras

“The masterful Leonard Slatkin is as fine a writer as he is a musician. He gives us a peek into the intimate side of his profession with fascinating stories and heartfelt descriptions about the musicians and music he treasures. Anyone who loves classical music will love this book.”

—John Corigliano, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer

What does a conductor actually do for a living?

This most enigmatic of jobs is brought to life in Conducting Business: Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro. Drawing on his experiences on and off the podium, Leonard Slatkin brings music lovers into the world of the baton. He tells stories about some of the most fascinating people in music, including Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, and John Williams, taking the reader to soundstages in Hollywood as well as great concert halls and opera pits around the world.

“Generous, candid and wise … the inspirational story of a home-grown American Maestro!”

John Williams

“This is a book that anyone who has anything to do with music should own, read, and study. It not only clearly states what conducting is all about but is a remarkable look at the ever-changing face of the music business. Invaluable for anyone contemplating a career in music.”

James Galway

“A wise, entertaining, and revealing perspective on the mysteries of the conductor’s art from one of the masters of our time. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the world of music.”

Emanuel Ax

Leonard Slatkin’s debut book, Conducting Business, was published by Amadeus Press, an imprint of Hal Leonard, in July 2012. In 2013 it received the Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award from the ASCAP Foundation.

Video: Unveiling the Mystery Behind Leonard Slatkin