Famed conductor Leonard Slatkin serving as Artistic Consultant for rising symphony’s 25th anniversary season

Leonard Slatkin doesn’t deny that he’s had a hand in orchestras in just about every corner of the world.

 “Maybe I’ve done all the corners. It’s the middle of the rooms I haven’t totally covered,” Slatkin said from Bucharest, Romania, this March, where he was working with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra during a seven-week guest conducting tour that also included Spain, Prague and elsewhere in Europe.

 When he’s not leading symphonies all over the world, the composer, author and educator is the Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon Conductor Laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. Having won six Grammy awards and 35 nominations, Slatkin returns to Breckenridge this summer to lead the National Repertory Orchestra in its opening night performance on June 21.

On top of all that, Slatkin was recently named Artistic Consultant for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and will play a big hand in shaping the direction of the symphony for its 25th anniversary season.

 “Las Vegas is one of the country’s most interesting cities now. There are so many corporations and organizations moving there. They picked up major sports teams in the last four years. They opened this sphere that is the most technologically advanced in the world. When you’re doing all that, you’re bringing along accountants, architects, doctors – people who make up support groups for arts organizations,” Slatkin points out. “I thought it might be interesting to tap into that, to create a real profile for the orchestra.”

 A relatively young organization, the Las Vegas Philharmonic does not rank among the nation’s most renowned. Slatkin is hoping to change that. He attended the Philharmonic’s opening gala in February and liked what he heard.

 “The orchestra is very impressive. It went above what I was expecting,” he said. “They sell out their concerts. It’s time for this orchestra to have a higher profile and have it be understood that Las Vegas is a cultural hub with outstanding musical talent.”

 Slatkin’s opening night performance with the NRO will feature an energizing and poignant collection of nature-inspired pieces including a river voyage on The Moldau and the bird calls of The Lark Ascending.

Photo: Leonard Slatkin by Cindy McTee.