Leonard Slatkin

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

Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include a three-week Brahms festival in Detroit; engagements with the St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony in Tokyo; debuts with Beijing's China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; and a summer tour of Japan and China with the ONL. 

Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy Awards and 64 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 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 Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business

Slatkin has held posts as music director of the New Orleans, St. Louis and National symphony orchestras, and he was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has served as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the Minnesota Orchestra. 

He has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world, including New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, all five London orchestras, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Slatkin’s opera conducting has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera and Opéra Bastille in Paris. 

Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, 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 makes his permanent home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with his wife, composer Cindy McTee.