Slatkin returns to the Schermerhorn tonight for the first in a three-night stand at the NSO's podium, and Pitcher surveys what has been a trying time even for a conductor who appears to thrive on pressure:
Leonard Slatkin may be wondering why he ever left Nashville. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra's former music adviser, who's in town this weekend to conduct music by Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Philip Glass at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, has been leading a surreal existence.
In his current post as music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Slatkin has devoted the past few months to studying scores for concerts that never happened. He met with musicians who never played a note and schmoozed with donors who never saw their money at work. He even mapped out programs for a new season that may never materialize.
"It's been a frustrating time," says Slatkin.
Read Pitcher's piece to find out about Slatkin's recent trials and tribulations, as his seeming what-the-hell streak has careened from debacle to unmitigated triumph.