PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Music Director Manfred Honeck announced today that Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin has agreed to extend his current contract through the 2013-2014 Season.
An internationally renowned American conductor, Slatkin began as the PSO’s Principal Guest Conductor in September 2008, when Honeck took over as PSO’s Music Director.
Slatkin has appeared as a guest conductor with the PSO for more than two decades. He served as the PSO Music Director for the Great Woods Summer Residencies in Massachusetts from 1989 to 1991 and conducted the Orchestra during the 2006 European Tour, stepping in at the last minute to replace Sir Andrew Davis.
“It is great news that Maestro Slatkin will continue his strong relationship with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,” said PSO President and CEO Lawrence Tamburri. “We have been fortunate to witness his commitment to American music and he provides an ideal complement to Music Director Manfred Honeck.”
“Leonard Slatkin’s passion for music is evident every time he conducts and it is clear that our orchestra and audiences have enjoyed every appearance he has made with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,” Honeck said.
“Making music with the outstanding musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony is one of the great pleasures of my life, and a dream for any conductor,” Slatkin said. “Over the years, the orchestra and I have grown very close, so I am thrilled to continue this fruitful collaboration. Standing on the podium at Heinz Hall, one is always reminded of the enthusiasm of the Pittsburgh audience for its orchestra. This is just one more benefit of working with the Pittsburgh Symphony.”
Slatkin began his critically acclaimed appointment as the 12th Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the 2008-2009 season. He completed his 12th and final season as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2007-2008. He continues as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
His performances throughout North America, Europe and the Far East have been distinguished by imaginative programming and highly praised interpretations of both the standard and contemporary symphonic repertoire. Slatkin also is well-known for his arts advocacy work on behalf of music education.
Highlights of the 2009-2010 season include guest engagements throughout Europe with such prestigious orchestras as the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Deutsche Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic (Prague), Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquesta Nacional de Espana (Madrid) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Paris), and concerts with many leading North American ensembles including the National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra and PSO. He conducts several world premieres with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and leads the ensemble on a winter tour of Florida.
Slatkin has made regular appearances with virtually every major international orchestra, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and many others. His performances of opera have taken him to leading opera companies in the US and around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera and Vienna State Opera.