Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), and Conductor Laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.
Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 35 nominations. His latest recording is the world premiere of Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers commemorating the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. Other recent Naxos releases 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 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor. Moreover, he has received the Prix Charbonnier from the Federation of Alliances Françaises, Austria’s Decoration of Honor 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. He is working on a third volume, Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century.
He holds honorary doctorates from many institutions, including The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Michigan State University, Indiana University, the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland-College Park, George Washington University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Slatkin has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, and he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis, where he founded their annual Sommerfest. Furthermore, he has held titled conducting positions with the Blossom Music Center, and both the Grant Park and Great Woods music festivals.
He has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. Among those in America are the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Elsewhere he has worked with all five London orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Slatkin’s opera conducting has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, and Opéra Bastille in Paris.
Founder and former director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and National Conducting Institute in Washington, DC, Slatkin remains a passionate music educator. He has conducted and taught at such institutions as the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, the Aspen Music School, the Jacobs School at Indiana University, the National Orchestral Institute, the Music Academy of the West, and the New World Symphony.
Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, he is the son of violinist-conductor Felix Slatkin and cellist Eleanor Aller, founding members of the famed Hollywood String Quartet. He began his musical training on the violin and first studied conducting with his father, followed by Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at Juilliard. He is the father of one son, Daniel, and makes his home in St. Louis with his wife, composer Cindy McTee.
He is represented by Jeff Berger (manager responsible for the Americas), Julia Albrecht at Konzertdirektion Schmid (manager responsible for Europe), and Maki Takemitsu at Kajimoto (manager responsible for Asia). For more information, visit leonardslatkin.com.