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November 12, 2009

Update on conductor Leonard Slatkin's recovery from heart attack

Leonard Slatkin, the dynamic American conductor who recently became music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra after a long tenure with Washington's National Symphony, is still on the mend from a heart attack earlier this month in Holland.

The Detroit Free Press reports: "He’s back in America with his doctors and they’ve said, 'Go rest and come back at the end of November and we’ll do a check-up,' " said Slatkin’s manager R. Douglas Sheldon. "We anticipate this will go smoothly and he’ll be back on the podium soon." Slatkin, 65, is now expected to return to the podium in Detroit during the second week of December.

As a little get-well wish for a conductor I greatly admire, especially for his enthusiastic devotion to American music (classical and classy pop alike), here he is at the 2004 Last Night of the Proms in London, leading an endearing performance by baritone Thomas Allen of a song I hope Slatkin will be singing to himself real soon:

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:38 PM | | Comments (1)


Very happy to hear that the not-so-old boy is on the mend -- we don't need him shuffling off this mortal coil anytime soon. While I'm thrilled that Eschenbach is coming to the NSO, I really enjoyed having Maestro Slatkin so close to home for a little while (I was admittedly sad to see him head to Detroit -- and the Free Press' critic is a numbskull, IMHumO).


Everyone's a critic. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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