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Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon, France. During the 2013-14 season, he conducted at Krzysztof Penderecki’s 80th birthday celebration in Warsaw, recorded with Anne Akiko Meyers and the London Symphony, and appeared with the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony. He also toured China and Japan with the Orchestre National de Lyon and led the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in concerts across southern Florida
Highlights of the 2014-15 season include a collaborative celebration of his 70th birthday on both sides of the Atlantic, a three-week Tchaikovsky festival in Detroit, a Brahms symphony cycle in Lyon, and engagements with the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Slatkin’s 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 concerti featuring Olga Kern and the symphonic works of Maurice Ravel and Hector Berlioz. With the Detroit Symphony, he has released a digital box set of the Beethoven symphonies and plans to offer the concerti and symphonies of Tchaikovsky in the future.
Slatkin has received the USA’s prestigious National Medal of Arts, the 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.
Slatkin 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, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Founder and director of the National Conducting Institute and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Slatkin continues his conducting and teaching activities at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the 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 and studied conducting with his father, followed by Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at The Juilliard School.