In Friday’s (2/20) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker writes about the role Leonard Slatkin has in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2009-10 season. “It’s not just that in Leonard Slatkin’s first full season as music director he’ll lead 12 weeks of subscription concerts, an unusually big chunk—50%—of the 24 classical weeks. Or that he’ll also conduct a week of free community concerts at churches, schools and the like in September. Or that, pending secure funding, he’ll lead a short Florida tour in early 2010. It’s that Slatkin’s presence and philosophy inform next season with a decisive omniscience missing during the DSO’s long transition between music directors. American music has always been Slatkin’s passion and there’s a blitzkrieg next season—30% of the pieces are homegrown, including eight by romantic Samuel Barber to celebrate his centenary. Thirteen pieces are by living composers, including world premieres by Cindy McTee, Billy Childs and Wlad Marhulets, and three works promise fusions with styles from jazz to klezmer. … The DSO is investing in recording for the first time since the glory years under Neeme Järvi in the ’90s.”

Photo: Leonard Slatkin
Credit: Matthew H. Starling/Detroit Symphony Orchestra