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Leonard Slatkin

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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | January 7, 1993
If you liked "Lenny I," chances are you'll like "Lenny II."If the first Lenny was the late Leonard Bernstein, Lenny II is surely Leonard Slatkin, who will conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tonight, tomorrow and Saturday in works of John Corigliano and Ralph Vaughan Williams.Comparing Bernstein, one of the most glamorous figures in American musical history, to Slatkin, a paunchy, balding, unpretentious, middle-age guy, may seem a little peculiar -- not least to Slatkin himself."When people make the comparison, it's always without my being around," Slatkin says.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 23, 2008
On a shelf in Leonard Slatkin's office at the Kennedy Center sit three of his half-dozen Grammy Awards, alongside photographs of him receiving honors from the two presidents whose terms coincided with his own as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra. That tenure ends this month after 12 eventful seasons. "I think I did a lot," Slatkin says, in between sips of a soda. "Not as much as I would have liked, but a lot." If those accomplishments had to be summed up in a single sentence, it might be: He put the "national" in the National Symphony.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 6, 2001
When faced with Olivier Messiaen's 80-minute "Turangalila-Symphony," Igor Stravinsky took aim and fired: "Little more can be required to write such things than a plentiful supply of ink." It's an understandable reaction, given the sheer magnitude of this astonishing work from 1948, which received its first National Symphony Orchestra performance Thursday at the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall. But it's really not so easy to dismiss Messiaen's achievement. Stravinsky apparently couldn't hear the magic and mystery of "Turangalila," its incredible audacity and breadth of vision.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | April 28, 2007
Mstislav Rostropovich, an astounding cellist, dynamic conductor and humanitarian of historic impact who defied Soviet authorities in his native Russia and championed personal and artistic freedom throughout the world, died yesterday in Moscow, one month after his 80th birthday. He had reportedly been battling intestinal cancer. Mr. Rostropovich was one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, capable of coaxing from the instrument an endless array of colors and bringing to a wide-reaching repertoire an indelible level of expressive warmth.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 23, 2008
On a shelf in Leonard Slatkin's office at the Kennedy Center sit three of his half-dozen Grammy Awards, alongside photographs of him receiving honors from the two presidents whose terms coincided with his own as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra. That tenure ends this month after 12 eventful seasons. "I think I did a lot," Slatkin says, in between sips of a soda. "Not as much as I would have liked, but a lot." If those accomplishments had to be summed up in a single sentence, it might be: He put the "national" in the National Symphony.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | September 30, 2001
Like everyone else, Leonard Slatkin won't forget where he was on Sept. 11. He heard the news in a London taxicab, on his way to the BBC's studios and more preparations for his history-making appearance as the first American to conduct the "Last Night of the Proms." That's the quintessentially British event that closes the annual summer "Promenade Concerts" and is broadcast around the globe. "It was a very strange feeling being there when everything happened," says the Los Angeles-born Slatkin, one of this country's most accomplished conductors, who serves as music director of both the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
NEWS
By TIM SMITH | September 3, 2006
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra will mark the centennial of Dmitri Shostakovich's birth in a big way. Each will devote to him two weeks of programs with starry soloists and conductors who knew the composer well. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7, BSO music director emeritus Yuri Temirkanov conducts Symphony No. 5 and No. 10, as well as Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Yefim Bronfman). Call 410-783-8000 or visit baltimoresymphony.com. And Nov. 2-11, Mstislav Rostropovich leads the NSO in Symphony No. 8 and No. 10, Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Martha Argerich)
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By Tim Smith | November 18, 2004
Leonard Slatkin, who has guided the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington to a new level of quality and recognition, will step down as music director after the 2007-2008 season. "At that time I will have held this position for more than a decade," Slatkin said in a statement yesterday, "and I view this change as a natural evolution in the career of an orchestra conductor." Slatkin's tenure has been characterized by a steady upgrading of personnel, expanded national and international tours, and remarkably adventuresome programming that has produced 64 new works from 53 American composers so far. He developed several exceptional festivals that had the NSO exploring a wide variety of themes and issues, and he also founded the National Conducting Institute, an intensive training program that helps prepare conductors for full-time careers.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | February 6, 1994
Elgar, Violin Concerto in B Minor and "Salut d'Amour," Pinchas Zukerman, violin, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin (RCA Victor Red Seal Classics 09026-61672-2). Elgar, Violin Concerto in B Minor and "Cockaigne" overture, Dong-Suk Kang, violin (in the concerto), and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adrian Leaper (Naxos 8.550489).Zukerman's Elgar Concerto performances and recordings (this is his second) always cause consternation among British critics and aficionados of the composer.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | April 28, 2007
Mstislav Rostropovich, an astounding cellist, dynamic conductor and humanitarian of historic impact who defied Soviet authorities in his native Russia and championed personal and artistic freedom throughout the world, died yesterday in Moscow, one month after his 80th birthday. He had reportedly been battling intestinal cancer. Mr. Rostropovich was one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, capable of coaxing from the instrument an endless array of colors and bringing to a wide-reaching repertoire an indelible level of expressive warmth.
NEWS
By TIM SMITH | September 3, 2006
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra will mark the centennial of Dmitri Shostakovich's birth in a big way. Each will devote to him two weeks of programs with starry soloists and conductors who knew the composer well. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7, BSO music director emeritus Yuri Temirkanov conducts Symphony No. 5 and No. 10, as well as Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Yefim Bronfman). Call 410-783-8000 or visit baltimoresymphony.com. And Nov. 2-11, Mstislav Rostropovich leads the NSO in Symphony No. 8 and No. 10, Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Martha Argerich)
FEATURES
By Tim Smith | November 18, 2004
Leonard Slatkin, who has guided the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington to a new level of quality and recognition, will step down as music director after the 2007-2008 season. "At that time I will have held this position for more than a decade," Slatkin said in a statement yesterday, "and I view this change as a natural evolution in the career of an orchestra conductor." Slatkin's tenure has been characterized by a steady upgrading of personnel, expanded national and international tours, and remarkably adventuresome programming that has produced 64 new works from 53 American composers so far. He developed several exceptional festivals that had the NSO exploring a wide variety of themes and issues, and he also founded the National Conducting Institute, an intensive training program that helps prepare conductors for full-time careers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | September 30, 2001
Like everyone else, Leonard Slatkin won't forget where he was on Sept. 11. He heard the news in a London taxicab, on his way to the BBC's studios and more preparations for his history-making appearance as the first American to conduct the "Last Night of the Proms." That's the quintessentially British event that closes the annual summer "Promenade Concerts" and is broadcast around the globe. "It was a very strange feeling being there when everything happened," says the Los Angeles-born Slatkin, one of this country's most accomplished conductors, who serves as music director of both the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 6, 2001
When faced with Olivier Messiaen's 80-minute "Turangalila-Symphony," Igor Stravinsky took aim and fired: "Little more can be required to write such things than a plentiful supply of ink." It's an understandable reaction, given the sheer magnitude of this astonishing work from 1948, which received its first National Symphony Orchestra performance Thursday at the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall. But it's really not so easy to dismiss Messiaen's achievement. Stravinsky apparently couldn't hear the magic and mystery of "Turangalila," its incredible audacity and breadth of vision.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | February 6, 1994
Elgar, Violin Concerto in B Minor and "Salut d'Amour," Pinchas Zukerman, violin, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin (RCA Victor Red Seal Classics 09026-61672-2). Elgar, Violin Concerto in B Minor and "Cockaigne" overture, Dong-Suk Kang, violin (in the concerto), and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adrian Leaper (Naxos 8.550489).Zukerman's Elgar Concerto performances and recordings (this is his second) always cause consternation among British critics and aficionados of the composer.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | January 7, 1993
If you liked "Lenny I," chances are you'll like "Lenny II."If the first Lenny was the late Leonard Bernstein, Lenny II is surely Leonard Slatkin, who will conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tonight, tomorrow and Saturday in works of John Corigliano and Ralph Vaughan Williams.Comparing Bernstein, one of the most glamorous figures in American musical history, to Slatkin, a paunchy, balding, unpretentious, middle-age guy, may seem a little peculiar -- not least to Slatkin himself."When people make the comparison, it's always without my being around," Slatkin says.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | September 6, 1992
Anticipation is the spice in the music season. No matter how a season eventually turns out, the certainty of hope is always a feature of the future. This listener can't be sure how good concerts will actually be; all he knows is that he wants to be there when the much-talked about Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov makes his debut conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; when the Baltimore Opera presents a rarely performed Verdi masterpiece like "Nabucco";...
NEWS
October 12, 2007
Brass concert -- National Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Leonard Slatkin will make his Annapolis debut at 7:30 p.m. Monday, conducting the Washington Symphonic Brass in its first concert of the group's anniversary season. The performance, presented by the Annapolis Chorale, will take place at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. Admission is $33 for adults and $18 for students. 410-280-5640 or www.marylandhall.org.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | September 6, 1992
Anticipation is the spice in the music season. No matter how a season eventually turns out, the certainty of hope is always a feature of the future. This listener can't be sure how good concerts will actually be; all he knows is that he wants to be there when the much-talked about Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov makes his debut conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; when the Baltimore Opera presents a rarely performed Verdi masterpiece like "Nabucco";...
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