Slatkin stepped down as music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2018, marking the end of a 39-year run as a music director in the United States—first in Saint Louis, then the National Symphony in Washington, DC, then Detroit, which has named him its Music Director Laureate. (He has also been Conductor Laureate of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra since the 1996 conclusion of his tenure.) His calendar has far more open weeks now, but he will return to Ravinia to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov on August 7.Read More
“I thought, what I want for the Ravinia audience, if we can pull it off, is somebody who’s going to see the full picture of Bernstein, had a personal relationship with him and can conduct the stuff like crazy. I want somebody who I enjoy talking to. There’s selfishness to it, I guess. I’ve just always found her to be extraordinary,” says Kauffman, who was an artistic administrator with the New York Philharmonic when Alsop made her guest-conducting debut there in December 1999 as part of an Aaron Copland festival.
In addition to holding a succession of conducting posts, including her current roles as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, Alsop has followed Bernstein’s beat as an articulate spokeswoman and innovative advocate for classical music. She has also been a leading champion of his music; a boxed set of her complete Bernstein recordings on the Naxos label was released earlier this year. As a testament to her multifaceted accomplishments, she is the only conductor to win a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”—an honor she received in 2005.