Conductor Leonard Slatkin

This spring’s “Notes from Hollywood – The Sequel” gala featuring Leonard Slatkin will be a homecoming celebration of sorts for the former St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conductor.

The 10th anniversary gala to benefit the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis will be held May 21 at The Sheldon. The program will continue the highly successful “Notes from Hollywood” theme from the 2013 St. Louis and 2014 Chicago concerts that featured Slatkin and chamber music from award-winning film composers.

Leonard Slatkin with Notes from Hollywood co-chair Miran Halen photo by Sarah Carmody

In addition to the musical performances, Slatkin will share stories about the music and composers, many of whom were regular visitors in the Slatkin home when he was growing up in Los Angeles. Slatkin’s father, Felix, was a violinist and conductor. He and his wife, Eleanor, co-founded the Hollywood String Quartet. Eleanor Slatkin also played the cello for the quartet.

But Maestro Slatkin’s roots are in St. Louis. His father was born in St. Louis, and later served as assistant concertmaster for the St. Louis Symphony in the 1930s. Following in his father’s footsteps, Slatkin served as assistant conductor for the orchestra beginning in 1968 until 1977, when he left to become music director in New Orleans. He returned to St. Louis in 1979 and served as music director until 1996. He is currently serving his 10th and final season as music director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Slatkin’s son, Daniel, was born in St. Louis. Slatkin and his wife, composer Cindy McTee, have recently announced their decision to make St. Louis their permanent home. The Slatkins will move here in the spring.

Event co-chair Miran Halen, who has known Slatkin since she and her husband, St. Louis Symphony concertmaster David Halen, moved here in 1991 says that St. Louisans remember Slatkin’s legacy.

“He has always had a connection to audiences here in St. Louis,” Halen noted. “St. Louisans respond to his warmth and humanity. He has an appreciation for the city. He’s an ambassador for St. Louis. He loves the Cardinals, he loves Ted Drewes…he’s one of us.”

Notes from Hollywood event chairs Carol and Tom Voss photo by Sarah Carmody

Halen also says that it was Slatkin who elevated the symphony’s status around the world.

“He made this orchestra,” she said. “He put this orchestra on a world-class level.”

Halen adds there will also be a proclamation from St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger declaring May 21 as Leonard Slatkin Day.

In addition to Halen, co-chairs include Mary Forsyth and Faith Berger. The gala’s honorary chair is Noémi Neidorff; event chairs are Tom and Carol Voss.

A limited number of VIP packages, which include valet parking, pre-concert cocktails, preferred concert seating, a post-concert dinner by Butler’s Pantry, and a copy of Slatkin’s book “Leading Tones,” will be available. Tickets for the concert-only portion of the event will also be available.

Event proceeds benefit the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, which works to present chamber music of the highest quality, support educational activities that encourage more students and adults to appreciate the art form, and nurture exceptional emerging chamber music performers and ensembles.

For more information on tickets and sponsorships packages, call (314) or visit chambermusicstl.org.

Gazelle is a proud media sponsor of “Notes from Hollywood – The Sequel.”