Leonard Slatkin responds to a New York Times article entitled “Passing the Baton to Conducting’s Next Generation” in a letter published in the Times on June 8: “You write: ‘When Marin Alsop steps down from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this summer, it will leave the top tier of American ensembles as it was before she took the post in 2007: without a single female music director.’ True, but that assessment is missing another critical ingredient. It will leave the top-tier American ensembles without an American music director. Currently, there are at least four vacancies for the top jobs. When orchestras searching for new leadership announce their 2021-22 seasons, perhaps we might see a few homegrown talents among the candidates. Clearly the priority is on music-making when determining music director qualifications. But part of that decision must also encompass boldness: finding someone who has innovative ideas, connects with the orchestra and community, and can create a truly individual identity for the organization. Just possibly, that person has been in our backyard all along.” Slatkin is the former music director the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the author of the forthcoming book Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century.