“La leyenda de Achúcarro suma nuevos capítulos”

“Wonderful music [Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1] that the RTVE Orchestra successfully recreated in a warm and passionate interpretation, always under the control of Slatkin contrasting dynamics, calibrating planes with rigor and flashes of fantasy.”

—Caesar Wonenburger, El Debate

“Programa inteligente, bonito concierto. Mostra del Cinema Mediterrani y Slatkin”

“How beautiful it is to hear those textures [Ligeti’s Atmosphères], those timbral inventions, those micro-variations that the instrumentalists go through under Slatkin’s attentive instructions.”

—Francisco Leonarte,

“Madrid / El milagro Achúcarro y el minimalismo femenino”

“It was directed by a North American musician with a broad and brilliant career who has performed in Spain with some regularity for some time, Leonard Slatkin. He is an interesting and reliable maestro who accompanied Achúcarro very well, and in the second part he made an excellent version of Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1.”

—Tomás Marco, Scherzo

“Crítica / Cuando todo confluye”

“Leonard Slatkin achieved a great artistic result, working in depth with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, with whom he showed great empathy and correspondence. The formation, cohesive and vibrant in its performances, with very notable interventions by its soloists and in total connivance with the pianist and director, showed that, when everything converges, as happened on this special occasion, the results are, simply, exceptional.”

—Juan Manuel Ruiz, Ritmo

“Olga Kern delivers mesmerising Rachmaninov with Leonard Slatkin and the NSO”

“[T]hey delivered an interpretation of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto that was utterly mesmerising in its execution and overwhelming in its music-making.”

—Andrew Larkin,

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra—Leonard Slatkin conducts Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind and Bartók’s MSPC, with Garrick Ohlsson playing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1”

“[A] rendition [of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1] that compelled attention, drew one in, and illuminated the music from the inside, Ohlsson’s virtuosity serving the music, Slatkin’s DSO a model of collegiate sensitivity and involvement.”

            —Colin Anderson, Colin’s Column

“Spokane Symphony Review: Leonard Slatkin Conducted a Visual and Auditory Masterpiece”

“[T]he meticulous clarity with which he conveyed the instructions of the score to the orchestra was a source of wonder. Every dynamic marking, every hint of phrasing and expression, every shift in balance somehow found its way to one of the conductor’s fingers, shoulders, eyes or earlobes in a way that made clear to the players exactly what they should do.”

—Larry Lapidus, The Spokesman-Review

“The Aspen Music Festival Is Back Live with a Beethoven-Heavy Weekend”

“[I]t was more than exhilarating when the Aspen Chamber Symphony’s Friday night concert climaxed with a Beethoven’s Fifth that was sensational from stem to stern. … The net result was the most thoroughly realized Beethoven Fifth that I can recall in 28 years at this festival.”

—Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard International

“See This Now: The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Comedy Gianni Schicchi

“Maybe it was the natural surroundings. Maybe it was Leonard Slatkin conducting the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (the first time I had heard live music in 14 months). Whatever it was only enhanced what was happening on stage, so much so that I wondered why we ever watched opera inside. … Last night’s performance was exuberant. It was fun. … Comedy or drama, one thing’s clear: OTSL’s outdoor season is one not to miss.”

—Amanda Woytus, St. Louis Magazine

“Beautiful, Hilarious Gianni Schicchi Opens Outdoor Season at Opera Theatre of St. Louis”

“OTSL’s outdoor production was fabulous — well-paced, beautifully sung and tastefully amplified.”

“Opera Theatre Saint Louis Opens 2021 Outdoor Season with Charming Gianni Schicchi

“This presentation is engaging and entertaining throughout, briskly paced by director Sean Curran and bolstered by a sprightly reading of Puccini’s composition by members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra led by SLSO conductor laureate Leonard Slatkin.”

—Mark Bretz, Ladue News

Gianni Schicchi at Opera Theatre Saint Louis: Puccini’s Gem of Comic Chicanery Delights Saint Louis”

“My congratulations to all in every position of the company for the truly heroic efforts that must have been required to make this evening so charming, so comfortable, and so artistically satisfying. … The great Leonard Slatkin leads a tranche of the St. Louis Symphony into the lively, even hectic music of the opening scene.”

—Steve Callahan,

“Jackiw and Slatkin triumph with Beethoven in Dublin”

“Slatkin’s Seventh [Beethoven Symphony No. 7] was impeccable and full of character. Beethoven was clearly having fun in the third movement, with motifs played first in the low strings, then the mid-registers and finally the violins—bouncing across the soundstage like a stereo test record—and Slatkin gave the effect all the pizzazz it deserved. The performance was full of attention to such detail, showing off the NSO at its best.”

—Michael Roddy,

“BPO Audience Delighted with Leonard Slatkin and George Li”

“[I]t’s great to hear our BPO perform with a different conductor from time to time, and when that conductor happens to be Leonard Slatkin, an American of international fame, there’s a good feeling in the hall. … Just as he can masterfully conduct orchestras through a symphony, Slatkin led the audience out of our reverie and into the rest of the evening. … The audience loved it and the applause went on and on.”

—Peter Hall,

“Leonard Slatkin Conducts the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Celebrating his 75th Birthday with a Concert Featuring Works by Him and Members of His Family”

“The MSM musicians responded brilliantly to Slatkin’s direction. … The highlight of the evening was Slatkin’s own composition, The Raven, a setting of five poems by Edgar Allan Poe, superbly recited by the eminent actor Alec Baldwin and excellently played.”

—David M. Rice,

“Entertaining New Music, Elegant Mozart, and Widescreen Strauss with Leonard Slatkin and the SLSO”

“[T]he entire orchestra performed heroically under Mr. Slatkin’s skilled direction. I’m a sucker for Strauss, granted, but this was nevertheless a well-balanced and unfailingly arresting performance.”

—Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX

“Yefim Bronfman Conquers Rachminoff”

“The word for the night was dynamics. Slatkin found nuance upon nuance and layers of emotion for the Glinka [Kamarinskaya] and Tchaikovsky [Capriccio italien]. There were sweeping waltzes and thunderous waves of sound followed by soft, quiet music. … The orchestra matched Bronfman’s achievement note for note [in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3]. Under Slatkin’s baton it reached new heights and was dynamic, agile, and deft.”

—Olivia Flores Alvarez, Houstonia

“Bronfman, Slatkin Soar with the Houston Symphony in Season-Opening Showstopper”

“Saturday’s opening-night gala paired Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3—the notoriously challenging piece once described as ‘the K2 of the piano repertory’—with well-chosen shorter works by three of the composer’s Russian predecessors: Tchaikovsky’s charming pre-Instagram postcard ‘Capriccio Italien’; Alexander Borodin’s sweetly sentimental ‘Nocturne,’ from String Quartet No. 2; and Mikhail Glinka’s ‘Kamarinskaya Fantasy,’ a frolicsome wedding dance that retains a tinge of sadness. … Leading them Saturday was guest conductor Leonard Slatkin, whose unassuming manner on the podium belied the hefty list of honorifics the 75-year-old maestro has accumulated throughout his distinguished career.”

—Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle

“Bronfman Delivers Thunderous Rachmaninoff in Houston Symphony’s Season Opener”

Slatkin and the orchestra made the Capriccio [Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio italien] into a series of vivid scenes. The strings’ red-blooded tone and bold strokes made the first section’s brooding into a larger-than-life statement. … As more dance tunes followed, Slatkin gave flavor to each one. With some, he and the orchestra brought out sleekness and buoyancy. But when the tarantella began, abandon began to take over: The orchestra played with eagerness and bite, and the group made a few climactic spots harken back to the explosiveness of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies. Ultimately, though, the orchestra’s grandeur made the return of the waltz tune into a hymn to Italy’s splendors, and Slatkin drove everything with a decisive but non-histrionic podium style.”

—Steven Brown, Texas Classical Review

“Virtuosic Balance of Power and Delicacy from Slatkin and Matsuev at Ravinia Festival”

“[W]e were all duly reminded how fortunate it is to witness such music-making live in performance, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin at the Ravinia Festival.”

—Claire Lu,

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra—Leonard Slatkin conducts Juliet Palmer’s Oil & Water and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra—Makoto Ozone plays Paganini Rhapsody”

“[T]his account [of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra] from Detroit was terrific, Slatkin and DSO at the top of their game. Indeed, from the first bar to the last, it was an utterly compelling reading, digging deep into the first movement’s expression, emotions, contrasts and exultations. … [T]he DSO, whether solo or tutti, was in great form, not just for a virtuosic rendering of the notes, but for a collegiate range of dynamics, touches and colours.”

—Colin Anderson,

“Leonard Slatkin and the RTÉ NSO Give an Exciting Performance in Dublin”

“It was in the second half, back on the familiar territory of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, that we could really take stock of the maestro in action. Slatkin’s conducting style tends towards the minimalist approach; minute, precise gestures and, even in the more expansive moments like Nimrod, the style was still contained yet trembling with intensity. The RTÉ NSO proved to be on high alert to the maestro’s slightest indications, so much so that I had the distinct impression of witnessing the economics of conducting: minimum input with maximum results.”

—Andrew Larkin,

“Leonard Slatkin and the SLSO Take Flight in a Diverse Program”

“The evening concluded with a stunning performance of Bernstein’s highly theatrical Symphony No. 3 (‘Kaddish’). … A long-time champion of Bernstein’s work, Mr. Slatkin pulled together the many disparate and complex elements of Bernstein’s score into a powerful and consistently gripping whole. That’s not an easy task, given the sheer magnitude of the piece. The 90-piece orchestra and full chorus completely filled the stage, forcing the children’s chorus and director Barbara Berner to perform on the orchestra floor in front of the stage. This could easily have been a recipe for chaos, but it all came together beautifully.”

—Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX

“Concert review: Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Outstanding Rachmaninoff, Difficult Bernstein”

“[T]he tricky score [Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Kaddish’] held no terrors for the orchestra. Slatkin made the best possible case for it.”

—Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Musical Cryptology—Classical Music’s Greatest ‘Enigma’ On Display at This Weekend’s Pittsburgh Symphony Concerts”

“Mr. Slatkin remains one of the world’s leading conductors. At Friday’s concert, he emphasized fresh details and phrases even in such an over-played piece of repertoire [Elgar’s Enigma Variations], leading with decisive, controlled gestures. The cello section—led by Anne Martindale Williams—sounded singularly excellent at Friday’s performance, with an impeccable core to the sound that cut through the rest of the orchestral texture when needed while fading to support at other times.”

—Jeremy Reynolds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Benjamin Grosvenor, Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon”

“Slatkin loves and understands this work [Elgar’s Symphony No. 1]. Let’s be grateful to him for having led the Lyon instrumentalists to immerse themselves in an immense musical flow, the course of which he dominates with a serene mastery and an attention to the intermediary parts which make perfectly clear the metamorphoses of the startling initial theme. A lyrical and abundant interpretation, never pompous; at all the music stands, the Orchestre National de Lyon is distinguished by its commitment and the finality of its execution: hearty applause—and well deserved!”

Alain Cochard, (translated from French)

“L’Orchestre National de Lyon and Leonard Slatkin in Aix-en-Provence”

“In a French-English program, the Orchestre National de Lyon, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, once again demonstrated its ability to play with great skill across a range of styles.”

—Florence Michel, ResMusica (translated from French)

“Armistice: France and Germany In Tune”

“The stakes are high for an orchestra on tour, eager to show other audiences what it’s truly made of. But when it comes to playing in one of the most legendary halls in the world, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the challenge is daunting. Especially when it’s the first time, which was the case for the ONL, founded in 1969. But Slatkin’s professionalism and experience serve as major assets in reassuring an orchestra, not to mention his well-known familiarity with the French repertoire. Only six months after open-heart surgery, the maestro appeared serene and confident in a program of elegance and a sense of proportion, chosen to highlight the unique characteristics of the Lyon musicians.”

—Christian Merlin, Le Figaro (translated from French)

“Dream and Wonder: Berlin Guest Performance with the Orchestre National de Lyon”

“With precision and a sense of drama, the 74-year-old maestro directs Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, motivating the French orchestra, for which he served as music director from 2011 to 2017, to produce a wonderfully rich and colorful sound, continuously expanding as if depicting grand, wide-format cinema. This is sound painting at its finest, from an entertaining tour of the exhibition with a guide who enjoys every detail of the orchestration, to the magnificent apotheosis of the ‘Great Gate of Kiev,’ informed by an atmosphere of spirituality.”

—Frederik Hanssen, Der Tagesspiegel (translated from German)

“Slatkin, Cathedral Choral Forces Honor the Armistice with Epic Russian Rarity”

“The Orchestra of St. Luke’s provided the instrumental parts capably, all led with consummate precision by Slatkin, who coordinated a dizzying range of moving parts in this complex score. … The listener has the sense of hearing an entire world of many peoples and faiths crying out in lamentation, a chaotic tussle given clarity by Slatkin’s direction.”

—Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review

“After 100 Years, a Gentle Requiem Has Its Premiere”

“As for the conducting, Slatkin excels at this kind of large, unfamiliar piece: He led it, and played the echoing cathedral, with assurance, supported by the able and resilient orchestra.”

—Anne Midgette, The Washington Post

“Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’”

“Each gesture by Slatkin … testified to the deep involvement of the conductor in the text of the Second Symphony, ‘Resurrection’. Slatkin thought through the program of the concert from the first to the last note.”

“From the vision of death and the final judgment to the hymn of hope for resurrection, the Second Symphony under the baton of Leonard Slatkin was an unforgettable experience for listeners. … Although the Symphony ‘Resurrection’ is a work lasting over an hour, the attention of listeners did not diminish even for a moment. This is one of those performances that will remain forever in memory.”

—Anna S. Dębowska, Thursday, March 29, 2018, National Philharmonic in Warsaw (translated from Polish)

“Music That Comes from God”

“The evening of the American conductor Leonard Slatkin and the Katowice orchestra is an event that will go down in the history of the Beethoven Easter Festival. Rarely is there such agreement between musicians and conductors like that of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin. Seldom are we listeners lucky enough to interact with the interpretation throughout and see it realized in every detail.”

“Those who do not like Mahler’s music claim that there are too many ideas and threads in his works. You can get such an impression when you are dealing with poor interpretations. Leonard Slatkin proved that every thought has a deep justification here. This is how a fascinating and consistent narrative was created, in which after a grim march, the listeners’ ears enjoyed lightness and finesse. Then there was a diabolical, ominous scherzo.”

—Jacek Marczyński, Rzeczpospolita (translated from Polish)

“No Encores …”

“If someone would ask me for the indication of the ‘best’ [of the Beethoven Easter Festival], I would without hesitation choose Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’, by Gustav Mahler. A double cast of the orchestra, brass section partly playing in the corridor, a large choir, organ, battery percussion, and all this performed by one of the best symphonic orchestras in the world under the baton of the American maestro Leonard Slatkin. The building of the Warsaw Philharmonic, filled to the brim, shook in its foundations, not only from Mahler’s monumental, fortissimo work, but also from the emotions of the audience, which applauded musicians for up to fifteen minutes with a standing ovation.”

—Jan Melloman, La Vie (translated from Polish)

“Quixotic Searches: Ancient and Renaissance”

“Mr. Slatkin gave us almost a Mahlerian grandeur to this crowning work [Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish”] of Bernstein religious search. … Slatkin conducted [Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote] with a swirl of both emotions and grace. He has always been a knowing conductor, and if both his heroes last night gave a picture of the Quixotic, he was sensible, sensitive and artistically successful.”

—Harry Rolnick,

“Review: Son Confronts Father to End a Leonard Bernstein Festival”

“This much-debated work [Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish”] was given a gripping performance on Thursday evening by the New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. … [T]he work exudes a theatricality that is all Bernstein. Of course, that’s the very quality some people have objected to. Not me, especially after this powerful performance. … The evening began with a glittering account of Strauss’s tone poem Don Quixote.

—Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

“Bernstein, Slatkin and Slava: NSO Looks to Its Past, Brightly”

“[T]he strength of the night was Slatkin in America, and was displayed from the very start of the evening, with the delightfully campy potpourri of the Slava overture, written for Slatkin’s predecessor, Mstislav Rostropovich, and with the same sloppy larger-than-life exuberance that characterized that conductor. It captured several chapters of the NSO and showed the orchestra at its best.”

—Anne Midgette, Washington Post

“Slatkin Returns to NSO with Rare Bernstein and Inexorable Stravinsky”

“Slatkin gets marks for reviving another work from that same concert in 1977, [Bernstein’s] Songfest. … With laser-precise baton and rigorous rhythmic exactitude, Slatkin skillfully negotiated this grandiose mish-mash of ideas. Slatkin and the NSO had all gears turning for the second half, what turned out to be anything but just another performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

—Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review

“Hail to the Chief: Anne-Sophie Mutter, the ONL and the People of Lyon Welcome the Work of Leonard Slatkin”

“Tonight’s performance represented a crowning achievement at the center of a celebration that showed the deep, even intimate ties that the music director has established with his musicians. … Thank you, Leonard Slatkin, for your six years of leadership, inspiration, sensitivity, humor and generosity.”

—Beate Langenbruch, (translated from French)

“Leonard Slatkin Conducts Hearty Program with Peabody Symphony, Marina Piccinini”

“Throughout a meaty concert, there was no mistaking the rapport Slatkin had with the Peabody students, who seemed keenly attuned to his firm, unshowy beat and expressive phrase-molding. … To cap the evening, Slatkin led the Peabody Symphony in a terrific account of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The conductor tapped into the poignant undercurrent in the piece, sculpting the Enigma theme with particular care and giving extra breadth to the most lyrical and poetic variations.”

—Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin—Mozart Festival (2)—Magic Flute & Don Giovanni Overtures, Concertos for Flute and for Horn, and Symphony 39”

“The DSO was sonorous (underpinned by crisp, hard-stick timpani), nimble and decorous, Slatkin on-tempo throughout.”

—Colin Anderson,

“Slatkin & DSO Nail Walton One: Al Glancy Control Room in Cahoots”

“Slatkin and the DSO did this demanding work proud, powerfully, incisively and eloquently.”

—Colin Anderson,

“Intelligently Matched and Interpreted, Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Are a Triumph”

“The ‘Pathétique’ marked the high point of the evening, if not the whole cycle. Slatkin, with particularly meticulous gestures, delivered an astounding vision of the first movement. Stretched tempi allow him to carve the Allegro’s themes in great detail … one admired the ark thus drawn, embracing all the passionate ideas that Tchaikovsky has laid out in these measures.”

—Joseph Thirouin, (translated from French)

“Haydn, Dvorak and Dutilleux at the Auditorium of Lyon: ‘From the closed world to the infinite universe’”

“Conducting with typical humility and pragmatism, Leonard Slatkin made the [New World] a symphony of soloists, content to define the background, whether sound or narrative, entrusting the musicians to develop the melodic material themselves. Thus, when the flute exposed the second theme of the first movement, Slatkin preferred to focus his attention on the sonorous surfaces painted by the rest of the orchestra. The flute phrase thus sounded freer than ever, almost imprinted with an improvised character.”

—Pierre Liscia, (translated from French)

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin—Bump,La Création du monde,Pines of Rome—Garrick Ohlsson Plays Rhapsody in Blue and Copland’s Piano Concerto”

“[T]his [Respighi’s Pines of Rome] was a knockout performance of imagery, expanse and numerous personal touches; suspenseful and emotionally stirring too.”

—Colin Anderson,

“The Verdi Requiem in Lyon: Especially Beautiful Interpretations … Led by Leonard Slatkin”

“Major soloists, strong choirs, and an experienced conductor … they were impressive. It was a joy to see the National Orchestra of Lyon so focused and inspired.”

Joseph Thirouin, (translated from French)

“The Auditorium [in Lyon, France] Rings in the New Season with Fanfare, Featuring Adams, Cage, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky”

“It was a powerful season kick-off [for the National Orchestra of Lyon], the musical comeback at the Auditorium leaving mouths open and signifying to its audience that the 2016-17 season would be anything but boring.”

—Beate Langenbruch, (translated from French)

“So Long, Sixtieth: SFR’s Best Of … Goes to the Opera”

“Taking a look back at 2016’s repertory—slightly unconventional though it be—I’d rank [Vanessa] among the most successful of several summers past. … For conducting honors, Leonard Slatkin ranks high. He’s especially noted for his definitive 2004 recording of Vanessa and now for its penetrating reprise [in Santa Fe].”

— John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

“Coolly Elegant Vanessa in the Desert”

“Conductor Leonard Slatkin seemed to revel in every bit of nuance in this splendid Neo-Romantic score, from the entrancing harmonies to the soaring melodies to the crackling through-composed dialogue that erupted into pungent arias. The eloquent orchestra responded with a generous outpouring of musical excellence underpinned by dramatic intent. Maestro Slatkin partnered his exceptional cast with unerring unity of purpose, and constantly shifting emotions were accommodated with consummate artistry, nowhere more so than in that shattering final quintet.”

—James Sohre, Opera Today

“Santa Fe Opera’s Elegant, Disturbing Vanessa

“[Slatkin] seemed to have the perfect skill set to successfully guide SFO’s superb production of Vanessa, helping to make this 2016 offering one of the highlights of the company’s current season.”

—Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News

Vanessa, Santa Fe Opera, Review: ‘An Engrossing Production’”

“Leonard Slatkin, a conductor well versed in postwar American styles, leads an accomplished performance.”

—George Loomis, Financial Times

“The 2016 Festival Season at the Santa Fe Opera Review”

“Leonard Slatkin conducted with a clinical precision that reached its zenith in the dark disappointment of their final quintet.”

—Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal

“Santa Fe Opera: Barber’s Vanessa Makes for a Magical Night”

“Leonard Slatkin, a conductor with deep experience in Barber’s musical language, gets dramatic and nicely detailed playing from the orchestra.”

—Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

“Santa Fe Opera’s Vanessa Drab but Beautiful”

“Returning to SFO after an absence of six seasons, American conductor Leonard Slatkin gave a well-paced and expert reading of the score. All in all, a most worthwhile addition to the SFO repertory.”

—Joseph So,

Vanessa Shines Despite Libretto Short of Singable Language”

“Veteran conductor Leonard Slatkin conducts the work with a particular confidence (having recorded it). … The Act 3 instrumental intermezzo is the musical highlight of the evening.”

—D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal

“SFO’s Vanessa Premieres with MacKay’s Brilliant Production Team”

“Not only is Barber’s orchestral writing par excellence, and delivered superbly by Maestro Leonard Slatkin, but it is loaded with magnificent production values. The costumes, sets and lighting present a glorious environment for the top drawer singers to deliver to us a grand night at the opera.”

—Roger Snodgrass and Carl Newton, Los Alamos Daily Post

“Noir-Fangled: Santa Fe Opera Makes a Solid Case for a Revival of Samuel Barber’s Rarely Performed Vanessa

“Conductor Leonard Slatkin did a fine job shaping this score, which alternates between thickly orchestrated and more vacant sections. He was on top of the text all the way. He also modulated the sound so that the orchestra never covered, or even challenged, the lyric voices in the cast. The orchestra responded to him with some excellent playing.”

“Palette of Love Is Noir, Blue & Gray at Santa Fe Opera”

“Barber was a highly successful concert composer, and the orchestral score for Vanessa, his first opera, is symphonic in sweep and range, sometimes in ways unconnected to the libretto. In Slatkin’s hands, it became the real star of the show: precise, with a dark and visceral power all its own.”

—James L. Paulk, Classical Voice North America

“Samuel Barber’s Wintry Tale: A New Face at SFO”

“Familiar from his definitive 2004 recording of the opera, Leonard Slatkin leads his principals, large orchestra and chorus with surpassing skill and minute attention to Barber’s sweeping score.”

—John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

Vanessa: A Winter Storm in Santa Fe’s Desert”

“Conductor Leonard Slatkin gave the Santa Fe audience a rapturous reading of Barber’s score and the orchestra played with the full measure of its virtuosity.”

—Maria Nockin,

“Santa Fe Opera, Part 1: Celebrating 60 with Two Rarities and Strauss (of course)”

“Leonard Slatkin led a polished rendition of this most beautiful score [Barber’s Vanessa].”

Washington Post

Opera Goes to the Movies: SFO Puts Cinematic Twist on Vanessa

“Leonard Slatkin conducted a secure and carefully colored performance. He extracted the best work I have heard this season from the company’s orchestra.”

—James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican

“Report: Five Operas in Santa Fe”

“Conductor Leonard Slatkin gave the audience in Santa Fe a thrilling reading of Barber’s score. Vanessa is not often seen today. Slatkin and his cast definitely made a case for more performances. If you have the chance to see this opera somewhere, do not hesitate, just go!”

—Maria Nockin, Place de l’Opera (translated from Dutch)

“An Elegant Production of Barber’s Vanessa at Santa Fe Opera, July 30, 2016”

“[C]onductor Leonard Slatkin led the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in a brilliant performance.”

“Hollywood Noir: Samuel Barber’s Vanessa at Santa Fe”

“Leonard Slatkin brought his great experience of the piece … and really inspired the Santa Fe Opera orchestra [to] highlight both the lyrical beauties and the complexities of Barber’s score.”

—Robert Hugill,

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin — Richard Strauss’s Salome — Lise Lindstrom, Chris Merritt, Jane Henschel, Daniel Sutin”

“Leonard Slatkin conducted with pristine attention to detail and also with patience, creating, holding and building tension; colours and instrumental complexities were delicately and lucidly traced and fortissimos were vibrant and momentous. The DSO was superb and there was much to enrich the ears over 100 or so minutes; what emerged was a symphony with voices with a compelling if lurid tale to tell, to which all involved should be proud.”

—Colin Anderson,

“DSO’s Salome Is a Rewarding Spectacle Not to Miss”

“Presiding over a 100-piece orchestra, Slatkin drew a thick and sumptuously blended sound from the ensemble. Strauss demands a virtuoso ensemble, and the orchestra was up to the challenge. The power of the DSO’s low brass made a particularly strong impression, but most important for the future was the way all of the principal and section players who have joined the ensemble in recent years increasingly seem to be comprising a single organism. That hasn’t happened by accident in the DSO’s post-strike era. It’s part of the legacy that Slatkin shares with the musicians who have committed themselves to Detroit.”

—Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

“Slatkin, Seong-Jin, and the ONL”

“I still have no rational understanding of what happened at the very end, but it was one of those moments that marks one’s auditory memory forever. A collective rapture swept over the stage, inspired by the bond between Seong-Jin Cho and Leonard Slatkin. The powerful ending in perfect synchronization, touched not only the musicians, but completely moved those in attendance … we all felt as if we had witnessed something extremely grand.”

—Beate Langenbruch, (translated from French)

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin—Brahms Festival (4)”

“Slatkin’s measure of the first movement married lyricism and direction ideally. … With an eloquent slow movement, given broadly and with much soul, an appealingly elegant third and an exhilarating Finale, with something saved for an uplifting coda, this was an account that did Brahms 2 proud.”

—Colin Anderson,

“Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin—Brahms Festival (1)”

“Slatkin’s marriage of passion and precision, formality and flexibility, with an expressive heart central to the whole, ensured that the explosion of emotion that concludes the first movement was a natural corollary to what had gone before, and that the curiously marked Andante moderato second movement (bordering on Adagio here) was given all the time needed for full expression, eruption and consolation, very intensely brought off. … There are of course many ways to play Brahms 4: Slatkin and his Detroiters convinced rightness throughout.”

—Colin Anderson,

“Thus Spoke (Brilliantly) the Orchestre National de Lyon”

“The homogeneity and accuracy of the orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, whose gestures were, as usual, precise, clean, and economical, was remarkable. [In Zarathustra] the last, suspense-filled rallentando was perfectly controlled. … The excitement was such that the public could barely withhold its applause until after the last notes had resonated.”

—Camille Grimaud, (translated from French)

“Stirring ‘Mahler 2’ Captures Slatkin, DSO, at Their Best”

“Slatkin’s compelling performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) offered a snapshot of the DSO as it reaches full strength. Slatkin has appointed more than 30 musicians, including most of the principals, and assimilating so many new players, many of them young and relatively inexperienced, into a cohesive ensemble capable of finding the layers of focused expression audible on Saturday [December 5, 2015] has been one of the conductor’s major accomplishments.”

—Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

“Slatkin Conducts a Moving Mahler ‘Resurrection’ in Detroit”

“The Detroit Symphony played with exceptional virtuosity and great power. … First-desk solos were excellent, and there was real energy behind the climaxes. Interpretively speaking, I have rarely heard a Slatkin performance this cogent and fully formed. Every bar had character, and the orchestra was more than willing to follow his lead.”

—Brian Wigman,

SLATKIN: Slatkin Conducts Slatkin

“This is a glowing tribute to the Slatkin legacy, impressively compiled and presented.”

—Gerald Fenech, Classical Music Daily

“Altogether, it’s an intriguing collection, and the recording of the modern pieces is of superlative quality.”

—Christian Hoskins, Gramophone

KASTALSKY: Requiem for Fallen Brothers

“The three soloists and four choirs involved have really grasped what is needed to communicate this complex work, and Slatkin’s driven direction of the Orchestra of St Luke’s means that the tension never lets up. It may have had to wait until now to be revealed to audiences but this is an extraordinary work and this fine recording will, I am convinced, ensure that it acquires a permanent place in the repertoire.”

—Ivan Moody, Gramophone

“This production, captured live, is to say the least, successful, thanks to the passionate direction of Leonard Slatkin, galvanizing an armada of American choral societies and New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s with the help of engaging soloists … Anna Dennis and Joseph Beutel.

Leonard Slatkin gives this epic work an interpretation full of contrasts. He celebrates both its grandeur and its shimmering sonority of bells and keyboard glockenspiels. Despite the uniformly slow tempos, the work never falls into an indifferent dullness. The two orchestral interludes, detailed with the precision of a goldsmith, serve as brief oases of relaxation in this sorrowful work.

Here then is a daring publication, the discovery of a major choral work.”

—Benedict Hévry, ResMusica [translated from French]

“This fully-fleshed out Requiem has a tremendously dignified tread, noble grief and imperious ways. Naxos have done well by Kastalsky.”

—Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

“This is essential listening! Conductor Leonard Slatkin does a superb job holding and melding together a variety of choirs, and leading the Orchestra of St. Luke’s: the performance could easily not have cohered as well as it does. An offbeat work that was well worth retrieving from the scrap heap of history; others will perform it again, but Slatkin has set the bar very high here.”

—James Manheim,

“This recording is worthy of many hearings. I can say with certainty that it is completely enjoyable and, on occasion, a surprisingly innovative composition. It is also performed with great care and professionalism. The musical idiosyncrasies are alluring and the overall effect compelling. Orchestra and chorus both live up to the excellence one would expect and the production qualities are lively. I recommend a listen, or a dozen.”

—Paul Pattison, special to KC Arts Beat

“Leonard Slatkin leads his large orchestral and choral ensembles in this sonic panorama into which he infuses grandeur, devotion and fervor. … This new Naxos release directed by Slatkin is the world’s first recording of the Requiem in its entirety. This passionate and venerable account is yours to discover.”

Crescendo Magazine [translated from French]

“Through it all, Slatkin reveals the inner logic and structural grandeur of this complex work with exemplary clarity and inner detail.”

—Raul da Gama, The Whole Note

“The recording is taken from 2018 performances at Washington National Cathedral, and given the resonant acoustic emerges with surprising clarity. The excellent Orchestra of St. Luke’s supports no less than four choirs under the authoritative direction of Leonard Slatkin.”

—Clive Paget, Limelight

“The epitome of a major release.”

—Ralph Graves, WTJU, 91.1 FM

“⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ Slatkin, who admits a deep belief in this work, draws a touching performance.”

—Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine

“⭑ CRITIC’S CHOICE ⭑ [H]eartfelt, profound and consistently beautiful. Leonard Slatkin masterfully marshals the large forces, including the renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s (in top form here) for the loving resurrection of this important piece.”

—Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

Additional information at Naxos
Purchase on Amazon | Apple Music

COPLAND: Billy the Kid (Complete Ballet) / Grohg (One-Act Ballet)

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin sound well situated and fully committed to making these scores breathe life. … It is an offering anyone interested in Copland and the US compositional 20th century will find stimulating and worthwhile. Sincerely recommended.”

—Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

“In short, everything about this performance and recording is utterly musical. … At the start of this review I said Slatkin is doing good things in Detroit. Strike that, he’s doing great things there, as this unmissable coupling so triumphantly testifies. Such are the musical and technical virtues on display here that I’m sorely tempted to make Slatkin’s Billy the Kid my top choice.”

—Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

“Slatkin pulls all the stops out, and … Naxos has given him sound quality that enhances the performance: crisp, clear and forward rather than overloaded with reverb and echo. The end result is a simply dazzling performance that, for me, goes straight to the top of recordings of this work. Absolutely nothing is played without heart and energy, no details are glossed over, and end result is a very impressive achievement. … No two ways about it, this new release is a real ‘find’ for Copland fanciers. Highly recommended.”

—Lynn René Bayley, The Art Music Lounge

“Throughout, Slatkin’s judgement is spot-on (where other conductors can rush he retains poise) and the DSO is at-one (whether tuttis or solos) with its maestro and the music with playing of precision, vivid detail and sonorous projection, superbly recorded, too, with a natural perspective and a tangibility that puts the listener in one of Orchestra Hall’s best seats. It’s a dramatic performance, full of colour and atmosphere.”

—Colin Anderson,

“As you would expect from Slatkin, a noted interpreter of American music, and his then orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, these are vivid and idiomatic performances of two of Copland’s more fascinating scores. … All in all, a compelling issue for anyone who loves Americana.”

—David Mellor, Classic FM

“Slatkin and the DSO give a technicolor rendition of this unusual score, as well as an elegiac performance of the more familiar Billy the Kid. All three discs are both an affordable way for a collector to acquire all of Copland’s ballet scores, as well as a testament to the fine partnership of Slatkin and the DSO.”

—Charles T. Downey, IonArts

Additional information at Naxos
Purchase on Amazon | iTunes

COPLAND: Symphony No. 3 / Three Latin American Sketches

“Slatkin’s rhythms are razor-sharp and spring-heeled, and he paces and phrases in a way that speaks of long familiarity with—and affection for—this iconic score. And it just gets better, the arc and spark of the second movement especially impressive. … Most important, the sheer chutzpah of this performance is audible in every bar. … Indeed, while some conductors grow dull with age, Slatkin just gets sharper; and that’s why more Copland from this source is such a pleasing prospect. A heady, hyper-bold account of Copland’s original score, superbly recorded; go for it.”

—Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International


“[L]et me say at the outset, that having heard most of the previous releases of the Third Symphony, this stands out as the finest version on disc. [Slatkin’s] interpretation oozes Americana, the pulse and flow of the music so perfectly judged, and never can that feeling of thanksgiving and euphoria that gripped the States at the end of the Second World War have been so perfectly encapsulated. … I have never heard the Detroit [Symphony Orchestra] in such fine form, and maybe returning to the original Copland score injected a feeling that this was to be a landmark performance. … Whatever recording you already have this one will supersede it.”

—David Denton, David’s Review Corner

“Slatkin has approached this project with a sense of completeness that is likely to appeal to those wishing to take a thorough approach to the Copland canon. … [T]he significance of Slatkin’s new recording is that he has restored the material that Bernstein chose to cut. … Indeed, there is so much heart-on-sleeve tub-thumping in the “social agenda” behind this music that, while the coda may strike some as silly, it still stands as evidence that Copland had skills in working with multi-voice counterpoint that he did not exercise very often. Bernstein may have imposed his cuts on rhetorical grounds; but, where nuts-and-bolts technique is concerned, those cuts take a particularly informative light away from Copland himself.”

—Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio


“[O]ne of the greatest pieces of all American symphonic music, by any assay, performed by an orchestra and conductor of ideal sympathy.”

—Jeff Simon, Buffalo News


“Here it is, after nearly seven decades: the first official commercial recording of Copland’s Third Symphony in its first edition. … Slatkin’s new recording … is in a league of its own. The smaller Detroit string section is used to huge advantage, yielding an almost chamber-music intimacy and greater expressiveness, particularly in the first and third movement. The wind and brass playing is characterful, crisp, and, like the string playing, poignant and illustrative.”

—Mark Hume,


“[T]his is in every respect a terrific performance, excitingly played and conducted, powerfully recorded, and with a nice bonus in the form of the Three Latin American Sketches.

 —David Hurwitz,

Additional information at Naxos
Purchase on Amazon | iTunes

RAVEL: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 / Antar (after Rimsky-Korsakov) / Shéhérazade

“Slatkin’s conducting is excellent, as it almost always is when he’s interpreting Russian music, and the sonics are very good when the narrator isn’t narrating. The coupling is a fine performance of Shéhérazade.

—David Hurwitz,

“This is a most rewarding CD, with Ravel’s nearly unknown incidental music Antar and the three Shéhérazade songs. Leonard Slatkin brings his Orchestre National de Lyon to perform with a great charismatic flair that fully engages the listener’s imagination. … In both works, Slatkin draws shimmering colours from the orchestra.”

—Remy Franck, Pizzicato

Additional information at Naxos
Purchase on Amazon | iTunes

COPLAND: Appalachian Spring (Complete Ballet) / Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

“I was … struck by the spontaneity of Slatkin’s reading, and the way he makes the music sound newly minted. This certainly isn’t one of those moulded, rather safe concert performances that, although beautiful, misses the ballet’s tough, hand-hewn character. This performance—bright and sunny—really is rooted in the great outdoors. That said, Slatkin’s also at home in the darkened pit, responding to the demands of his dancers and making the most of those big, expansive climaxes. As for the DSO, they respond to Copland’s gentle interludes with hushed intensity. … Slatkin’s Appalachian Spring is one of the most illuminating performances of this American classic that I’ve ever heard. Bravo, bravo and thrice bravo!”

—Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International, RECORDING OF THE MONTH

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra gives Slatkin emotionally appropriate performances of both works, emphasizing the gritty urban ambience in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! and the naive sweetness of Appalachian Spring, all the while communicating Copland’s special style of Americana without caricature. Listeners will find both performances engaging and memorable.”

—Blair Sanderson,

“Leonard Slatkin conducts the so-called Ormandy version [of Appalachian Spring] very emotionally and turns it into a real love letter to the composer. … After a powerful performance of the seldom-played ballet Hear Ye! Hear Ye!, Leonard Slatkin delivers a striking account of Appalachian Spring, vividly colorful with poetically tender passages and beautiful sound. A moving performance!”

—Remy Franck, Pizzicato (translated from German)

“[Hear Ye! Hear Ye! is] quite entertaining, particularly when given Leonard Slatkin’s zestful performance and an orchestra that was obviously enjoying it. It is coupled with Appalachian Spring, one of the finest 20th century American ballets. … From the peaceful opening pastoral scene, Slatkin transports us to pure Americana, vividly picturing the scenes of the young married couple creating a farm. From a random comparison with several other recorded performances, this would be my preference, the playing from the ballet-sized orchestra so sharply detailed. We also have the best sound quality I have ever heard from Detroit. Enthusiastically recommended.”

—David Denton, David’s Review Corner

Additional information at Naxos
Purchase on Amazon | iTunes

RAVEL: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 — Orchestrations

“The Orchestre National de Lyon and conductor Leonard Slatkin give a characterful performance in this extremely enjoyable recording, which showcases Ravel’s skill as an orchestrator.”

BBC Music Magazine

“[T]his performance is a precise and characterful rendition of Pictures, with particularly well-balanced and powerful brass playing.”

—Paul E. Robinson, Musical Toronto

Additional information at Naxos
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RAVEL: L’heure espagnole / Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

“Leonard Slatkin is an exceptionally versatile conductor, but it is perhaps in French repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries that he feels most comfortable. The singers in Ravel’s exquisitely formed little comic opera L’Heure espagnole … are all entirely appropriate and admirably clear, but it is really Slatkin who’s the star here. … Sample the sly “Salut à la belle Horlogère!” (track eight) for a taste of how Slatkin holds the entire scene, orchestra and singing of mezzo-soprano Isabelle Druet, in the palm of his hand. … Highly recommended and absolutely delightful.”

—James Manheim,

“Leonard Slatkin conducts with admirable delicacy, with a nice attention to detail.”

—Richard Lawrence, Gramophone

Additional information at Naxos
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RAVEL: L’Enfant et les sortilèges and Ma Mère l’Oye — Complete Ballet

“Slatkin and his orchestra capture the magic of this wonderful score [Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye] as well as most other accounts I have heard. It is a lovely performance with sufficient attention paid to the dynamics. The gorgeous strings playing softly at the beginning of the last section, The Fairy Garden, rarely fail to create one of those spine-tingling moments that stay with the listener, and they don’t disappoint here. The delicious woodwind soloists also give their all.”

—Leslie Wright, MusicWeb International

“[N]ot only one of the finest recordings of Ravel’s delightful masterpiece [L’Enfant et les sortilèges] I know, but … also one of the finest recent operatic recordings I have heard. … This is a recording of a charming, sophisticated work which will, I can guarantee, provide listening pleasure for years to come.”

—James Forrest, Fanfare

Additional information at Naxos
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SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, “Organ” / Danse Macabre / Cyprès et Lauriers

“In a very busy field, this stands out for the integrity of Leonard Slatkin’s perceptive musicianship. Finding that mixture of suavity, nervous tension, self-confidence and grandiloquence that characterises so much of Saint-Saens’s music, Slatkin creates a performance of the Third Symphony which is utterly compelling. Whether it is the mighty tread of the basses beneath the nervous chatter of violins and wind in the first Allegro moderato, the infinite gracefulness of the violin line in the Poco adagio or the angst-laden Presto, it all makes convincing musical sense. … [T]his is the Saint-Saens Third Symphony recording par excellence.”

—Marc Rochester, Gramophone

“Slatkin’s take on the symphony is pretty middle-of-the-road in a good sense—no interpretive shenanigans or empty gestures for effect, just plenty of Saint-Saëns’s melodic richness. … [T]his disc shows the very best side of his talents.”

—Donald R. Vroon, American Record Guide

Additional information at Naxos
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BERLIOZ: Harold en Italie / Le carnaval romain / Benvenuto Cellini: Overture

“The recording is superb. … The balance throughout is truthful. … Keith Anderson’s comprehensive notes are provided in English with French translation. I hope that Slatkin and his Lyon forces will go on to explore more of the Berlioz repertoire, and look forward to the results.”

—Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International

“Slatkin lilts us into the main Allegro [Harold en Italie] as persuasively as anyone this side of the analogue divide and throughout the whole of the first movement (played with repeat), the to-ing and fro-ing between soloist and orchestra is admirably conversational.  The orgiastic finale plays on the most prominent quality in this particular production, an impressive richness of orchestral tone.”

—Rob Cowan, Gramophone

Additional information at Naxos
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MCTEE: Symphony No. 1 / Circuits / Einstein’s Dream / Double Play

“The Detroit Symphony  Orchestra and its maestro are totally on top of this thrilling ride [Cindy McTee’s Symphony No. 1: Ballet for Orchestra], which only stops when it hits the buffers with a bang, and the sound quality is exemplary.”

—Colin Anderson,

“[T]his CD is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The work of orchestra and conductor in these performances is exemplary. The engineering is superb. I can think of no better way to come to know the work of this fascinating composer. Highly recommended.”

—Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare

Additional information at Naxos | McTee Website
Purchase on Amazon | iTunes


“Written in a style that is both obviously contemporary and deeply romantic, Kinah struck me, from the very first notes, with a sense of delicate beauty, longing, and loss. … It was profound and heartbreaking and beautifully done.”

—Chuck Lavazzi, Stage Left

“Kinah is a work in which one finds oneself. The string sonorities sometimes recall the symphonies of Rachmaininov, other times the works of Barber. We can recognize in Leonard Slatkin an authentic talent for melody, sometimes sounding like a popular song, a children’s lullaby, or a religious chant, the melodic elements plunging us into the past.”

—Pierre Liscia, (translated from French)

“It begins mournfully and mysteriously, then builds. There’s lyrical writing for the strings and a tolling bell. An offstage flugelhorn and trumpet are heard. There’s beauty here to accompany grief and loss. At about 12 minutes long, Kinah is an effective piece of music and a wonderful tribute to Slatkin’s parents.”

—Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“This was a wholly sincere effort that left many audience members genuinely shaken and moved.”

—Brian Wigman,

Kinah held the attention and stays in the consciousness, music that is very personal but also with a powerful outreach.”

—Colin Anderson,

“The piece finds Slatkin spreading his wings as a composer.”

—Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press


Endgames celebrates those instruments “that fall slightly under the orchestral radar” and the musicians that play them. … Each of the woodwinds is introduced in turn, sultry alto-flute, plaintive cor anglais (English horn) … as part of a jaunty, delightfully whimsical first movement. The slow one that follows tenderly expresses itself and sucks the listener into something generous and poignant, the sort of heart-tugging eloquence that American composers do so well. … As it is the cleverly titled Endgames is a feel-good gem.”

—Colin Anderson,


“Slatkin’s new book … reflects a lifetime of study and podium experience at the highest level. … He has something interesting and a great deal that is eminently practical to offer about conducting each of these pieces. And once again, while young conductors will benefit most from these analyses, anyone who can read a score and loves music will learn a lot from this book.”

—Paul Robinson, Classical Voice North America


“Though it has much practical value, Slatkin’s latest title isn’t a nuts-and-bolts guide to the conductor’s craft; rather it’s an informative, witty exploration of the role of maestros in developing their ensembles. It will appeal to anyone curious about classical music and those seeking to make careers in the performing arts.”

Library Journal

“Each chapter offers an informed, opinionated and sometimes provocative look at individual aspects of classical music and how orchestras operate.”


“Like the first book, Leading Tones is relaxed and admirably understated. Slatkin, a charming conversationalist, writes like he talks. … [I]t’s almost as if he had invited you over to his house, settled down in front of the fireplace, opened a bottle of port and launched into some late-night musings.”

David Lyman, Special to the Detroit Free Press

“★ ★ ★ ★ His top-ten favourite works [to conduct] are interesting. As he says you can make a list and then realise just how many pieces and composers you have omitted. Elgar but no Vaughan Williams, Barber but no Gershwin or Copland and no Mahler or Stravinsky at all. Still, it’s an impossible task. His reasons for including works is fascinating and informative.

There are six colleagues whose friendship he has enjoyed and treasured, not least Gilbert Kaplan, the magazine proprietor who, without any musical training, took up a single work—Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony and learnt how to conduct so that he could perform it and devoted the rest of his life to this mission. Slatkin’s help to enable Kaplan to realise his ambition is a really interesting read. ”

—Mike Langhorne,


“Do you dream of being a conductor? Perhaps you’re studying to be one? Either way you should read this book. … Leonard Slatkin’s autobiography-cum-handbook spells out in its three parts, often in exquisite detail, exactly what it takes to do the job from soup to nuts.”

—Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone

“The first thing to say about this entertaining, revealing and very readable book … is that it is not a straight autobiography. Rather it is part-memoir, part-insight into the music business and part-manual for aspiring conductors.”

—Mike Langhorne,

“These stories—revealing, candid, colorful, and sometimes hilarious—provide the vehicle for many of Slatkin’s most insightful observations about the ‘conducting business’ and his own career within it. They are also what make the book a page-turner, not only for those ‘in pursuit of a conducting career’ but for anyone interested in the conducting profession and the world of orchestras.”

—Chester Lane, Symphony Now

“The demands of the conducting profession are dealt with head on, and there is much affection for people and insight into music that will endear musicians and music-lovers alike to a beautifully written, very human and rewarding manuscript.”

—Colin Anderson, Time Out London

“This is a highly personal but also impressively honest and straightforward account of a profession that has, indeed, been ‘veiled in mystery,’ at least since the twentieth century if not earlier.”

—Stephen Smoliar, Classical Music Examiner

“Leonard Slatkin’s gloriously entertaining and informative book, Conducting Business, is subtitled ‘Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro’, and that is exactly what his book does, with wit, acute observation, and the knack of evocatively conveying the inside story.”