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Maestro Slatkin named Distinguished Visiting Artist in conducting and Orchestral Studies at MSM

DETROIT, (October 12, 2016) – This month Manhattan School of Music (MSM) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) launch their first annual Conductors’ Project, a “podium partnership” that will see two recent MSM conducting graduates chosen as Conducting Fellows to work with DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin, the MSM Symphony Orchestra, and the DSO in a two-week, home-and-home educational exchange.

The first week of this ambitious project takes place at MSM from Oct. 24-28, 2016; the concluding week moves to Detroit and the DSO from Jan. 10-15, 2017.

This comprehensive conducting initiative—effectively an extended, two-city master class in conducting—is the brainchild of Maestro Slatkin, whose artistic leadership will be central to the effort. In fact, concurrent to the launch of the MSM/DSO Conductors’ Project, MSM President James Gandre is announcing the appointment of Maestro Slatkin as Distinguished Visiting Artist in Conducting and Orchestral Studies, a new and ongoing post at the School.

Slatkin, who has served on MSM’s Board of Trustees since 2009, will work with MSM Director of Orchestral Activities George Manahan and colleagues in the DSO to provide the project’s two “Conducting Fellows” and the student musicians in the MSM Symphony Orchestra with a wide-ranging learning experience.

The two inaugural Conducting Fellows are Toronto Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Earl Lee and conductor and Hudson Valley Philharmonic Principal Percussionist Kyle Ritenauer. Lee graduated from MSM in 2013 with his Master of Music in conducting; Ritenauer earned two degrees from MSM, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in percussion in 2011 and a Master of Music in contemporary conducting in 2015.

“The project’s first week at MSM will consist of five days of intensive open rehearsals culminating in a final concert with the MSM Symphony, featuring works by Brahms, Copland, and Shostakovich,” says Slatkin. “The student musicians in the MSM Symphony Orchestra will benefit greatly from this one-week intensive, and, of course, Earl and Kyle will both be hands-on with a substantial turn on the podium for the final performance.”

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students and recent graduates,” says MSM President Gandre. “George Manahan and his colleagues on the MSM faculty continue to foster a rich learning environment for our students in all facets of orchestral training, and this unique, immersive program will only deepen that experience.”

President Gandre is quick to point out that the School’s relationship with Leonard Slatkin runs deep, going beyond this new initiative, his new appointment, and his membership on the School’s Board of Trustees. “This partnership is particularly gratifying for us because Leonard holds a special place in this institution’s history,” he says. “The maestro conducted our Symphony Orchestra at MSM’s Carnegie Hall debut in spring 2014, and his indelible contribution to that memorable evening is still fresh in our minds. We are thrilled that he is returning to the School on a continuing basis. MSM has a powerful reputation for working with the world’s great musical artists for the benefit of our students; this new partnership strikes me as a high point in that tradition.”

The MSM/DSO Conductors’ Project will kick off at MSM with the first open rehearsal on Mon., Oct. 24, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., and will culminate in the final concert on Fri., Oct. 28, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The concert program will include Brahms’ Tragic Overture, Op. 81, Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103 (“The Year 1905”). All dates and times are listed below.

In January, phase two of the MSM/DSO Conductors’ Project will get underway as Conducting Fellows Earl Lee and Kyle Ritenauer join Leonard Slatkin in Detroit, working with the maestro and the DSO for a second full week, spending time deeply engaged in all aspects of Orchestra life as a conductor. “During the time the conductors spend in Detroit, not only will they lead the DSO, but they will also be immersed in the activities of the orchestra’s management, staff, and board,” Slatkin affirms. “Kyle and Earl will spend time with the leadership from each department to get a true sense for how an orchestral institution operates on all levels.” Full details of the partnership’s Detroit chapter (January 10 to 15) will be announced in December.

About MSM

Founded as a settlement music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today Manhattan School of Music is recognized for its more than 950 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from 60 countries and nearly all 50 states; a world-renowned artist-teacher faculty; and innovative curricula.  The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing postgraduate studies.  Offering classical, jazz, and musical theatre training, MSM grants Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as the Professional Studies Certificate and Artist Diploma.  Additionally, true to MSM’s origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to young musicians between the ages of five and 18.  The School also serves some 2,000 New York City schoolchildren through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed Distance Learning Program.

About the DSO

Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which now reaches tens of thousands of children with the new Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences. For more information, visit

About Leonard Slatkin

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Highlights of the 2015-16 season included a three-week Brahms festival in Detroit; engagements with the St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony in Tokyo; and debuts with Beijing’s China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Summer events included a tour of Japan with the ONL and performances of Barber’sVanessa in Santa Fe.
During the 2016-17 season—in addition to his regular duties in Detroit and Lyon—he will return to Pittsburgh and St. Louis, tour the U.S. and Europe with the ONL, conduct overseas with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Verdi Orchestra in Milan, and San Carlo Theatre Orchestra in Naples, and serve as chairman of the jury and conductor of the 2017 Cliburn Competition.

Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts with the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National symphony orchestras, and he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra. For more information, visit

The First Annual Manhattan School of Music/Detroit Symphony Orchestra Conductors’ Project

Open Rehearsals

October 24, 26, and 28, 9:30AM – 12:30PM

October 25 and 27, 7 – 9:30PM

Final Concert:

Friday, October 28, 7:30PM

All events are open to the public and take place at MSM’s Neidorff-Karpati Hall. Admission is free.

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