<April 2018>

Leonard Slatkin

The DSO celebrates Leonard Slatkin’s 10 years as Music Director

The 2017-18 Season marks Leonard Slatkin’s tenth and final year as Music Director of the DSO before transitioning to the new role of Music Director Laureate. Maestro Slatkin’s commitment to new music, reaching audiences in new ways, and the American orchestral tradition has had a transformational effect on the DSO.

During Slatkin’s tenure, the DSO has released acclaimed recordings, embarked on an historic tour of Japan and China, played Carnegie Hall, expanded its educational offerings, and strengthened community engagement. United under the banner of being the most accessible orchestra in the world, Slatkin and the DSO have taken on new and groundbreaking initiatives, including the free webcast series Live from Orchestra Hall, the annual Winter Music Festival, the Soundcard student ticket program, and the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, which brings orchestra concerts to Detroit’s surrounding communities.


Thu., Oct. 12, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Fri., Oct. 13, 2017 at 8 PM
Sat., Oct. 14, 2017 at 8 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

CONOR BROWN  World Premiere: How to Relax With Origami
BARBER  Piano Concerto
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"

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Fri., Oct. 20, 2017 at 10:45 AM
Sat., Oct. 21, 2017 at 8 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Wei Yu, cello
Eric Nowlin, viola

LOREN LOIACONO  World Premiere: Smothered by Sky
ELGAR  Cello Concerto
BERLIOZ  Harold in Italy

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Leonard SlatkinMAHLER'S NINTH

Sat., Dec. 9, 2017 at 8 PM
Sun., Dec. 10, 2017 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

JOSHUA CERDENIA  World Premiere: Feuertrunken (Fire-Drunk)
MAHLER  Symphony No. 9

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Tue., Dec. 12, 2017 at 7 PM
Berman Center for the Performing Arts
6600 W. Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Event Details

Leonard Slatkin will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry. The event will feature a free chamber performance by DSO musicians, featuring the music of Haydn, DeFalla, Massanet, Schubert and others.

Jeffery Zook, flute
Sheryl Hwangbo, violin
David LeDoux, cello


Mozart & BeethovenMOZART & BEETHOVEN

Thu., Jan. 11, 2018 at 7:30 PM in Southfield
Fri., Jan. 12, 2018 at 8 PM in Clinton Township
Sun., Jan. 14, 2018 at 4 PM in Beverly Hills

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Harmony Zhu, piano

FAURÉ Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2
MOZART Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

Pre-concert talk with Leonard Slatkin one hour before the performance + post-concert book signing

Jean Efflam BavouzetDAPHNIS AND CHLOE

Thu., Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 at 10:45 AM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

RAVEL  Alborada del Gracioso
RAVEL  Pavane for a Dead Princess
RAVEL  Piano Concerto in G
RAVEL  Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
RAVEL  Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

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Sat., Feb. 10, 2018 at 8 PM
Sun., Feb. 11, 2018 at 3 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
George Lipiano

SAINT-SAËNS  Marche Heroique 
SAINT-SAËNS  Danse Macabre
SAINT-SAËNS  Piano Concerto No. 2
SAINT-SAËNS  Symphony No. 3

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Fri., Feb. 16, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Fri., Feb. 16, 2018 at 8 PM 

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Michelle & Christina Naughton, piano

MILHAUD  Suite française
POULENC  Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra
MILHAUD  A Frenchman in New York
GERSHWIN  An American in Paris

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Sat., Feb. 17, 2018 at 8 PM
Sun., Feb. 18, 2018 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Michelle and Christina Naughton, piano

DUKAS  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
SAINT-SAËNS  Carnival of the Animals
SATIE  Gymnopédies Nos. 1 and 3
OFFENBACH  Gaite Parisienne

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Renaud CapuconDEBUSSY: LA MER & FAUN

Thu., Feb. 22, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Fri., Feb. 23, 2018 at 10:45 AM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Renaud Capuçon, violin

RABAUD  Procession Nocturne
SAINT-SAËNS  Violin Concerto No. 3
DEBUSSY  Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

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Fri., Feb. 23, 2018 at 8 PM
Sat., Feb. 24, 2018 at 8 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Renaud Capuçon, violin

CONNESSON  Supernova
RAVEL  Viollin Sonata
RAVEL  Tzigane
BERLIOZ  Symphonie fantastique

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Sun., Feb. 25, 2018
Detroit Public Library Main Branch
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

Leonard Slatkin will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry.



Fri., Apr. 6, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Fri., Apr. 6, 2018 at 8 PM
Sat., Apr. 7, 2018 at 8 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Yoonshin Song, violin

STEVEN BRYANT  World Premiere
BARTÓK  Violin Concerto No. 2
WAGNER  Siegfried Idyll
STRAUSS  Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

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Fri., May 25, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Sat., May 26, 2018 at 8 PM
Sun., May 27, 2018 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin

CHRIS CERRONE  Violin Concerto (World Premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY  Symphony No. 6

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Thu., May 31, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Fri., June 1, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Sat., June 2, 2018 at 8 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Seong-Jin Cho, piano

JARED MILLER  World Premiere
CHOPIN  Piano Concerto No. 1

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Fri., June. 8, 2018 at 8 PM
Sun., June 10, 2018 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Othalie Graham, soprano
Jonathan Burtontenor
Guanqun Yusoprano
Hao Jiang Tianbass

PUCCINI  Turandot

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Click Here to Share a Message

I was fortunate to hear all four Ives symphonies in Carnegie Hall when Slatkin and the DSO performed there in 2013. All best wishes and many thanks for 10 great seasons!

-Howard Lee Lyon

About 25 years ago, my husband and I spent a week touring Washington, DC. One day we went to see the National Cathedral, and happened to be there when Leonard Slatkin was rehearsing with the National Symphony Orchestra, playing my very favorite piece: Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony. We were very happy to learn years later that he was named Music Director of the DSO.

-Janice Richards

Thank you, Mr. Slatkin, for coming to Detroit and maintaining and improving the already high quality of the DSO. I especially like your introductory remarks at the beginning of most performances. I hope to see you often in your role as Music Director Laureate.

-Tim Koos

Back in 2011, it was a pleasure to see Leonard Slatkin’s son playing the piano at a DSO pops concert. A chip off the old block!

I have thoroughly enjoyed Leonard’s pre-concert talks and the excellent narrations he does during performances.

-N.R. Kaczmarek

Dear Mr. Slatkin,

You are a charm and a delight. Thank you for the music! You have been so good for Detroit and the symphony.

-Edda Dickerson

I really appreciate Leonard’s sense of humor and the historical tidbits he shares about the music and composers!


I’ve been attending DSO concerts for about 40 years—12 of those as an usher, and the most recent 15 as a balcony subscriber. Maestro Slatin, I’m sure it is no surprise to read that you’re the most charismatic, exciting, artistic conductor of them all. And I’ll miss you!

PS: My cheeks are still sore from smiling at the performance of Carnival of the Animals.

-Sherry Goussy

Dear Maestro Slatkin,

I don’t know you personally, but in addition to being the marvelous conductor of the DSO, you seem to be creative, innovative, and mindful, with a delightful sense of humor. (This I observe from my balcony perch.)

I have enjoyed being a subscriber for the past three years. I loved the Festivals (I learned so much!). Thank you. You will be missed greatly.

-Yvonne Cameron

I will never forget watching the Maestro conduct Bolero in 2012. To see a man of his distinguished years give a little hop to communicate his passion for the orchestra—that love, so evident—is a special joy to experience. I hope the Maestro enjoys a relaxing, happy, and fruitful life as Laureate.


When I asked Leonard Slatkin, in person, what makes a great conductor, he replied: "the experience of the listener."

Having never considered that option, my listening experience changed forever!

-Dina Routin

Thank you, Leonard Slatkin! We so enjoyed the French Festival concert of An American in Paris and A Frenchman in New York. We brought our 19-year-old college student, who had never been to a live orchestra performance.

-Angela Ruch

We love the information Leonard shares about the pieces we are about to hear. We’ve been here all 10 years—thank you, Leonard!

-Tracey and Dorothy Anderson

A fabulous concert…I knew it would be. I traveled from St. Louis, where Maestro Slatkin used to direct the St. Louis Symphony.

So lovely, so enjoyable!


I grew up outside St. Louis and often heard the St. Louis Symphony with Maestro Slatkin when I was a student in the 1980s and 90s. I moved to Detroit and Leonard followed not too long after. He is what comes to mind when I think of a world-class conductor.

-David McCown

Swan giftMy mother and father are season ticket holders at the DSO. They recently treated our family of 4 (as they often do) to a special day at Orchestra Hall celebrating the French Festival, complete with a promise of can-can dancers for my young daughters to enjoy. What we didn't realize at the time was that Mr. Slatkin would put on such an entertaining performance to accompany the playing of Carnival of the Animals, complete with stuffed animals and neat props! To my daughter's surprise and delight, Mr. Slatkin tossed a stuffed swan her way at the conclusion of the piece. She holds this swan near and dear, both as a memento of a beautiful day with her family and as a souvenir of Mr. Slatkin's wonderful talent and dedication to the DSO. We will miss him as he transitions to his new role. Thank you for so many memories!

-Kelly Vollmer

We have enjoyed coming to concerts the past 10 years because Mr. Slatkin is such an encourager. He encourages young musicians, new composers, and the audience alike—from introducing new musical techniques and tones and performing new works to sharing his thoughts and ideas with the audience both pre-concert and during the concert. As a result, we have been delighted to hear and see the rich results of new sounds and many new faces in both the orchestra and the audience!

-Duane and Kathy Vosburg

While I have many compliments for Conductor Slatkin over the years, my most recent and most compelling memory to acknowledge was his asking for a moment of silence after Erik Satie's piece at the French Festival. As the tragedy in Florida had occurred just days before, Conductor Slatkin's from-the-heart words on gun violence were much appreciated. As Conductor Slatkin made clear, his words were not a political statement.


You (and the Symphony) have always made me proud to say I was from Detroit...before it was chic to say it. Your love of music and Detroit was always obvious.


Leonard, you have done magnificent work in Detroit! Post-strike, you have brought to Detroit extraordinarily talented young musicians who have raised the quality of sound in Orchestra Hall. You clearly have been the right conductor, at the right time, and in the right place. Thank you!

-Edward Sharples

So many wonderful memories of the past ten years. One moment stands at the top. Maestro Slatkin’s world premiere of his own composition “Elegy”—the memorial to his parents. Playing a haunting passage off-stage on their mother’s cello was Slatkin’s brother.

Maestro, we had the pleasure of discussing the work with you at a book signing last year. You are as warm and personable in person as on-stage. Thank you for being a part of our community and our lives.


Dear Leonard: We have followed you everywhere from Florida to Lyon (where Sir James Galway joined us for dinner to celebrate your birthday) and to Carnegie Hall in New York. We are so proud of you and our Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

We love being with you and Cindy and enjoy watching you conduct…and we enjoy the little comments you add to your concerts. We love your books also.

In our book, you’re the best!

-Barbara Frankel and Ron Michalak

Several years ago the maestro conducted and starred in Peter and the Wolf. It’s generally unheard of for the artistic director to lead this piece. Our special needs grandson was enthralled. Thank you and godspeed for making this a wonderful experience.

-Judith Runk

I was a patron of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, when Leonard Slatkin was conductor. Then, I had to relocate to Detroit to take care of my father, and I was not immediately a fan of the DSO. The day I read that Leonard Slatkin was going to be the new conductor in Detroit I actually jumped for joy. Kudos for Maestro Slatkin and the DSO! I’ll miss him.

-Nancy Shaltuck

The DSO under Leonard Slatkin is a truly amazing orchestra of the highest quality. Attending a concert here is a way to be deeply inspired, connect to other time periods and cultures, and experience truth and beauty! Nourishment for the soul is critical!

-Lisa Baylis

Before I retired a dozen years or so ago, my work took me out of the Detroit area regularly, and for long periods of time. One work assignment took me to St. Louis for nearly two years, during which I became a fan of Maestro Slatkin and the wonderful work which he did with the SLSO. I have many of the recordings which he made with the orchestra, and I always love listening to them, especially his Copland suites, and the Tchaikovsky ballets. When I heard that he was coming to Detroit, I couldn't believe how fortunate we were to have him here. He has done so very much for the DSO and the music lovers in Detroit and around the world. We first went to selected concerts and then became season ticket holders, and have only looked back to recall how great this has been. My experience hearing and seeing the DSO goes all the way back to Paul Paray, but it has never been as good as it is in Detroit since Leonard Slatkin came to town.


I was surprised when I moved to a new home several years ago to learn that I’d be living next door to a legend, Leonard Slatkin. I was even more surprised a year or so later when after my wife had gone through surgery, Maestro Slatkin arrived at my front door with a personally prepared dinner of fresh and delicious grilled fish. Although the most I usually saw of Leonard was when we were both leaving for work at 8 a.m. or when we were both returning home at 11:30 p.m. after a Thursday night concert, he was a good neighbor. I also remember once being at a dinner party where he gave the non-musicians at the table (all of us) a five-minute tutorial: “How to Conduct.”

But much more important than being my neighbor, Leonard became a good neighbor and friend to Detroit, a cheerleader for the DSO and the city. When things were at their darkest (and they were pretty dark in both places) he could always find a silver lining and a word of optimism that made a brighter future seem possible. The man works at his profession both on and off the podium. I’m delighted that he and Cindy are going to be part of the DSO family for years to come.

-Bud Liebler