Leonard Slatkin


Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is music director laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and directeur musical honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Highlights of the 2018–19 season include a tour of Germany with the ONL, a three-week American Festival with the DSO, the Kastalsky Requiem project commemorating the World War I Centennial, Penderecki’s 85th birthday celebration in Warsaw, five weeks in Asia leading orchestras in Guangzhou, Beijing, Osaka, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and the Manhattan School of Music’s 100th anniversary gala concert at Carnegie Hall. He will also conduct the Moscow Philharmonic, the Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Louisville Orchestra, the Berner Symphonieorchester, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.

Slatkin has received six GRAMMY Awards and 34 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Berlioz (with the ONL), and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honour. He has received Austria’s Decoration of Honour in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. His second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As music director, he has held posts in New Orleans, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., London (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Detroit, and Lyon. He has also served as principal guest conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.

Steps to Parnassus: Leonard Slatkin talks to Jeremy Siepmann