September 1, 2019
Today is Leonard Slatkin’s 75th birthday, a milestone he will celebrate with family, friends, and fans at Busch Stadium as he throws out the ceremonial first pitch at this afternoon’s Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds baseball game.
Friends in the classical music industry have posted birthday greetings online at ClassicalSource on a special tribute page created by Colin Anderson. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has published a CSO Sounds & Stories page that reminisces about Slatkin’s memorable guest appearances over the past five decades. All are encouraged to tweet birthday wishes @LeonardSlatkin with the hashtag #Slatkin75.
To commemorate three quarters of a century, a timeline of events in Slatkin’s life has been added to his website here.
During the 2019-20 concert season, Slatkin will mark this birthday year with a special co-commissioned piece entitled Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme of Paganini), which will be performed by five orchestras where Leonard has held a position of artistic leadership. Each of these orchestras has commissioned a different composer with whom Slatkin has enjoyed a close collaboration to write a variation on the famous theme from the 24th Caprice by Niccolò Paganini. These new interpretations will be performed alongside a set of variations commissioned in 1996 in honor of Slatkin’s final concert as music director of the St. Louis Symphony. The expanded work comprises variations by 11 composers in all (Claude Baker, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Donald Erb, Truman Harris, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Daniel Slatkin, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower) and promises to be a festive addition to Slatkin’s programs.