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Conductor adds spice to NRO

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

guest appearance tonight

Tonight the National Repertory Orchestra performs with its first guest conductor, Leonard Slatkin.

Slatkin has built a reputation for his interpretations and imaginative programming of both standard and contemporary symphonic repertoire. He debuted with the New York Philharmonic in 1974, then continued on to lead nearly all of the major American and international orchestras. He also has served as a principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic. His more than 100 recordings have garnered accolades with seven Grammy Awards and more than 60 Grammy Award nominations. He also founded the National Conducting Institute, an advanced career development program for rising conductors.

Since he’s well-known for being an advocate for music education, it fits perfectly that he would spend some time with the NRO.

“Our young musicians are very fortunate to be able to work with Leonard Slatkin,” said executive director Ken Toltz. “This enhances their experience and will be a special treat for our audience as well.”

Slatkin said he loves working with young musicians because he remembers how positive his experiences were with conductors when he started at an early age. He strives to help musicians build a solid foundation in orchestral repertoire. He usually talks to them for a half hour about auditions and what conductors expect, then he chooses pieces the musicians will encounter in major symphony orchestras.

He is aware that “the viewpoint you give them can make or break them,” as they are in the process of deciding what to do with their lives and careers.

“I want to reach them in a strong, positive way – give them a reality check on how the world really works,” Slatkin said, “and also encourage them.”

Tonight, under Slatkin’s guidance, the NRO will perform Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.”


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