Leonard Slatkin is music director of both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon in France. During the 2013–14 season he conducts at the 80th birthday celebration of Krzysztof Penderecki in Warsaw; records with violinist Anne-Akiko Myers and the London Symphony Orchestra; and appears with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis symphony orchestras, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.
In the 2012–13 season Mr. Slatkin led the DSO in highly acclaimed concerts at Carnegie Hall, including one featuring all four Charles Ives symphonies. He directed the Orchestre National de Lyon in a Paris concert of Ravel’s operas, L’heure espangole and L’enfant et les sortilèges, and celebrated Rachmaninoff’s 140th anniversary with Russian pianist Denis Matsuev and the State Symphony of Russia in Moscow.
His more than 100 recordings have won seven Grammy Awards and earned 64 nominations. With the Orchestre National de Lyon he has embarked on recording cycles of the Rachmaninoff piano concertos with Olga Kern, and the symphonic works of Ravel and Berlioz. With the DSO he has made available a digital box set of the Beethoven symphonies and plans to release the concertos and symphonies of Tchaikovsky in the future.
Mr. Slatkin has received the USA’s National Medal of Arts, American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and several ASCAP awards. He has earned France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, and honorary doctorates from The Julliard School, Indiana University, Michigan State University, and Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the recipient of a 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.
He has served as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. He has held principal guest conductor positions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Founder and director of the National Conducting Institute and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Mr. Slatkin continues his conducting and teaching activities at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School.
Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, he is the son of conductor-violinist Felix Slatkin and cellist Eleanor Aller, founding members of the famed Hollywood String Quartet. He began his musical studies on the violin. He studied conducting with his father, and subsequently, with Walter Susskind at the Aspen Music Festival, and Jean Morel at The Juilliard School.
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