Leonard Slatkin: I should have listened to my heart

Leonard Slatkin: I should have listened to my heart


norman lebrecht

May 24, 2018

The Detroit Symphony conductor, recovering from heart bypass surgery, is writing an online history of himself and his heart:

My dad was 47, his father 56. It appears that longevity is not on the Slatkin side of the family…

The heart attack occurred in Rotterdam, at the end of a five-concert stretch… I was on the podium when it occurred, and the only signs that something was wrong were a sense of fatigue walking over to the hall, and feeling dizzy and out of breath on the podium. By the time I finished the Second Symphony of Rachmaninov, I did not know where I was.

In the dressing room I collapsed on the couch, drenched in sweat. The medical personnel on hand at the auditorium got to me quickly and said, “You are having a heart attack. An ambulance is on the way.” Ten minutes later I was at the Erasmus clinic, a feeling of great weight upon my chest. The only thing I remember saying was, “Make it stop.”…

Gripping stuff.

Read on here.

Friends will be pleased to learn that Leonard is making a very good recovery.


  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Eloquent and helpful. Get well soon, Maestro. The love of music making will keep you going as strong as ever.

  • Una says:

    No two heart attacks are the same.