Leonard Slatkin To Receive Honorary Doctorate Of Fine Arts From Michigan State University


DETROIT, (Dec. 6, 2010) – Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Music Director Leonard Slatkin will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Michigan State University (MSU) during the university’s December commencement ceremonies, held Sat., Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.

Slatkin holds a deep commitment to the advancement of arts education among audiences of all ages, which is exemplified by his numerous activities within the MSU musical community. In 2009, he conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performances of Alla Borzova’s Songs For Lada with the MSU Community Music School’s Children’s Choir at Orchestra Hall. Additionally, Slatkin initiated a collaboration with the MSU College of Music as well as the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance for students to present pre-concert performances thematically linked to DSO subscription concerts, allowing advanced performance majors an opportunity to perform in a world-class facility before new audiences. Slatkin has also hosted new music readings, in which the DSO has performed and Slatkin has critiqued pieces by MSU composition students. The MSU Community Music School Children’s Choir, also under Slatkin’s baton, shared their voices on the Grammy Award-winning 2005 recording of Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Bolcom on the Naxos label.

“Leonard Slatkin is the consummate musician, communicator, and educator,” said James B. Forger, Dean of the Michigan State University College of Music. “His deep commitment to outreach and engagement with the larger community makes him eminently worthy of this highest award from the nation’s pioneer land-grant university. Many of our ensembles have performed with the DSO, our students regularly present pre-concert recitals at Orchestra Hall, and we have jointly commissioned exciting new works. We look forward to developing our relationship with the DSO and congratulate Maestro Slatkin on this latest honor.”

About Leonard Slatkin

A native of Los Angeles, Leonard Slatkin began his critically acclaimed tenure as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the 2008-09 season, following a 12-year tenure as Music Director of the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. In addition to his post at the DSO, Maestro Slatkin serves as Music Director for the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Slatkin is also renowned for his historic leadership of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1979 until 1996, where he is now Conductor Laureate and for his successful three-year tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Internationally respected and acclaimed as a director and conductor, Slatkin has led almost every major orchestra in the country and countless orchestras overseas. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have been recognized with seven Grammy Awards and more than 60 Grammy Award nominations. In 2003, Slatkin received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.

About The DSO:

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The DSO offers a year-round performance schedule that includes classical, pops, jazz, young people’s concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of

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America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information please visit www.detroitsymphony.com.


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