The Slatkins give $100,000 for Detroit young artists

The Slatkins give $100,000 for Detroit young artists


norman lebrecht

December 09, 2017

Lovely gesture from a departing music director. Press release:

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced that its Music Director Leonard Slatkin and his wife, composer Cindy McTee, have committed $100,000 to the DSO’s endowment to showcase an emerging artist each season. Mr. Slatkin is currently in the middle of his 10th and final season as DSO Music Director before transitioning to the role of Music Director Laureate.

The new initiative, titled the Cindy and Leonard Slatkin Emerging Artists Fund, will provide support for one up-and-coming artist to perform with the DSO each season. The featured artist may be a solo musician (including singers), a conductor, or a composer. The Slatkins’ contribution is a challenge gift: the DSO will seek additional support, and the annual draw from the total of $200,000 will support one guest artist’s performance each season.

“I was thinking about what I could do that was special in my final season as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,” said Mr. Slatkin. “I’d like to believe I’ve had some impact on the musicians, listeners, and community here in Detroit. But what else would there be after my time has concluded? Cindy and I are proud to be inaugurating this new initiative, and we hope as the years progress that the musicians are major discoveries by the DSO who make a big impression on the music world.”

DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons said, “We are so very grateful to Leonard and Cindy for this incredible gift. We are excited to be honoring Leonard’s personal and artistic impact on our orchestra and in our community throughout this season, and this new leadership gift to our endowment is the perfect way to celebrate Leonard’s legacy. We invite all those who are interested in joining this important vision to support future talent to contact us to learn more about participating in the Cindy and Leonard Slatkin Emerging Artists Fund. Thank you, Leonard and Cindy, for once again taking critical steps to secure a vibrant future for this community we all love to serve.”



  • harold braun says:

    Fantastic people!

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    A generous couple and beautiful gift to the orchestra!

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Slatkin is a terrific musician and man. The complete professional with an enviable legacy and career, but for some reason critics don’t want to admit him to the “Great conductors” club. But I sure do! His Elgar , Vaughn Williams, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Rachmaninoff and more are just first-rate. Posterity will be kind to him. Bravo, maestro.

    • Steve P says:

      Mahler is good, but Vaughn Williams set turned me around on the composer. And his Prokofiev 5 is still the standard bearer for me.

    • Michael Yonan says:

      You’re absolutely right about this. I’ve heard him a number of times in St Louis and the orchestra has always sounded glorious under his baton. And not long ago I had the radio on and caught an absolutely wonderful concert broadcast of 20C American works, and lo and behold it turned out to be Slatkin conducting (I think) the Chicago Symphony.

      What a generous and thoughtful gift to the DSO!

  • Costa Pilavachi says:

    Very classy. This initiative is not surprising from such a special, thoughtful, considerate and generous person as Leonard Slatkin (and Cindy McTee, no doubt, as well) but it is very touching to read about it. Leonard, you have stuck with this orchestra through thick and thin and you and Anne Parsons should get streets, squares and buildings named after you in Detroit. This is by far the most uplifting story in SD the last few days!

  • Susan Tomkins says:

    Big applause for this practical and generous gift.

  • sandra landau says:

    Just returned from DSO Mahler — magical We have been so very lucky to have these last ten years When he came the orchestra was in turmoil & he stayed with us to rebuild our world class DSO He is speaking at the JCC in W Bloomfied on Tues evening – a wonderful & interesting speaker as well