Leonard Slatkin has strong ties to St. Louis. His father, conductor and violinist Felix Slatkin, was born in St. Louis and joined the St. Louis Symphony when he was still a teen. The younger Slatkin’s first conducting position with a major symphony orchestra came in 1968 when he was named Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony. In 1979, he was named Music Director and during his 17 years at the helm, the orchestra’s national and international reputation dramatically increased. At the conclusion of his tenure in 1996, Slatkin was awarded the title of “Conductor Laureate.”
After leaving St. Louis, Slatkin served as the National Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director until 2008 when he assumed the same position with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Since 2010, he has also served as Music Director of France’s Orchestre National de Lyon.
Slatkin returned to St. Louis this week to conduct the St. Louis Symphony and participate in a Chamber Music Society of Saint Louis concert. He took time out from his conducting duties for a conversation with “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh before a live audience in the Community Room of St. Louis Public Radio’s new home in the UMSL at Grand Center building. They talked about Slatkin’s new book, “Conducting Business: Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro,” including his childhood in Hollywood when Frank Sinatra was a family friend, his many ties to St. Louis and the St. Louis Symphony, the art of conducting, the state of symphony orchestras and other topics. Slatkin also took questions from the studio audience as well as from listeners’ e-mails, tweets and Facebook messages.
Leonard Slatkin Conducts the St. Louis Symphony in "The Planets"
January 18 and 19, 2013
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis Symphony Website