The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced that Music Director Leonard Slatkin must regrettably withdraw from his upcoming dates conducting the DSO this May and June. Maestro Slatkin will undergo heart bypass surgery next week and is expected to be fully recovered in about three months. He is also cancelling upcoming concerts in Europe and with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis.
The DSO dates—May 25 to 27, May 31-June 2, and June 8 & 10—are the last three Classical Series subscription concerts of the 2017-18 season and were to be Maestro Slatkin’s final concerts as DSO music director. New conductors for these programs will be announced by the DSO in the coming days.
The DSO will honor Slatkin, along with philanthropists Penny and Harold Blumenstein at its annual Heroes Gala on Saturday, June 23, as previously announced. Maestro Slatkin will return as DSO Music Director Laureate in the 2018-19 season and conduct five weeks.
Maestro Slatkin said: “My wife Cindy and I are of course very disappointed, as we know how much effort has gone into the many activities that are planned in Detroit, but I also know that all of you will understand the necessity of taking care of these health issues. My cardiologists are among the very best in the field. They have indicated that this procedure should eliminate my heart problems and ensure that I will be able to conduct for many years to come.”
DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons said: “The entire DSO family wishes Leonard all the best for a complete recovery. Under Leonard’s extraordinary leadership, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has changed the way an orchestra relates to its community, while also engaging the world. We have embraced the future of American music and sought to become an even more inclusive organization. We look forward to honoring Leonard and all that he has accomplished in Detroit throughout the coming weeks and at our gala on June 23 when we present him with the DSO Heroes Award, along with our good friends Penny and Harold Blumenstein.”