WFIU’s Artist of the Month for September is conductor Leonard Slatkin.
Leonard Slatkin is the Arthur R. Metz Foundation Conductor at IU’s Jacobs School of Music and the Distinguished Artist in Residence at the American University. He has enjoyed a long career conducting some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.
He began his training at Indiana University and Los Angeles City College before getting his degree from the Julliard School. He conducted his debut concert in 1966 with the New York Youth Symphony, and he became the assistant conductor for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of his former teacher Walter Susskind.
Slatkin stayed in St. Louis for the next seventeen years and helped to increase the reputation of the orchestra with a vast output of high-quality recordings. While building the SLSO, Slatkin also accepted guest engagements with leading orchestras in Europe and the United States including the Chicago Lyric Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Paris Opera, and the Metropolitan.
His list of recordings include the standard symphonies ranging from Haydn to Elgar, while his artistry as a conductor appears the most in his performance of twentieth-century composers such as Adams, Barber, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Corigliano (whose A Dylan Thomas Trilogy he premiered), Ives, Schumann, and Piston. He has received acclaim for his recordings of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, the complete Vaughan Williams symphonies, and a series of works by Bernstein. His recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience earned him a Grammy Award. He premiered his own composition, The Raven (based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe), with the SLSO.
WFIU will feature music conducted by Leonard Slatkin throughout the month of September.