Detroit shocks Leonard Slatkin on his return from heart surgery

Detroit shocks Leonard Slatkin on his return from heart surgery


norman lebrecht

June 25, 2018

Slatkin returned to his orchestra this weekend for the last time as music director, not knowing that they had prepared an extraordinary surprise.

Leonard blogs about it here.

I was overwhelmed. My entire being became inhabited with a spirit I did not know existed. More than joy, more than pride and more than admiration, I experienced a new understanding of this young man’s talent and the sincerity on display. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as the work progressed. Audience members were likewise moved by the piece and its personal significance. How was it possible that someone so new to the world of composition could produce a piece so authentic and moving?…

Find out who is was here.

And we have some video of Leonard’s last appearance before his operation. Good times in Detroit.




  • anon says:

    Yeah, never was nepotism so touching, not since Wolfgang Amadeus senior showed off his son to the world.

    • James says:

      What a nasty comment ‘Anon’. The man has just returned from extremely dangerous surgery – one can surely understand that this was a deeply touching moment for him. As for his great praise, well, it was only on his personal blog and he obviously genuinely feels that. Obviously it will be taken with a grain of salt and others will judge this young man’s talent. I challenge you to do three positive things in the world today to counterbalance your negative comment!

    • norman lebrecht says:

      See a doctor. You need help.

    • Bruce says:

      How is it nepotism if it was done without the father’s knowledge?

    • Leonard Slatkin says:

      Thank you for comparing my son to Mozart.

    • Wolfy says:

      *Leopold* Please, if you’re going to insult a person who had a recent heart operation at least pay a slight attention to historical detail.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Gosh some of the ladies in the orchestra have bare arms!

  • Thrilled says:

    The Carmen’s Hoedown wasn’t his last performance before his heart surgery- it is actually his first performance since his surgery, and how wonderful to see him back on the podium!

  • buxtehude says:

    Is there anywhere that this piece can be heard?

  • Alex Davies says:

    Any explanation for the photo on the main page? On my mobile phone screen it looked like an extremely fat child, but I can now see on the desktop version of the site that it’s actually a child holding a cushion on his abdomen.

    • Bruce says:

      It was from a thing they did a couple years ago where they gave children with disabilities a chance to conduct.

      • Alex Davies says:

        OK, that’s interesting to know, and a very laudable initiative. I am curious to know, is the cushion purely for this individual child’s comfort, or is it a technique used in teaching conducting? I remember one of my early violin teachers had a small soft toy (a mouse I think it was) that she used to get me to hold in the palm of my left hand while holding the violin in order to ensure that there was space between the palm of the left hand and the neck of the violin.