During the 2018/2019 season, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra celebrated a remarkable relationship that reshaped the orchestra and left an indelible imprint on the fabric of American orchestras. Leonard Slatkin, who made his debut with the SLSO 50 years conducting a program of dances and waltzes by Johann Strauss, held the Music Director position for 17 years, taking the SLSO on multiple international tours, recording 70 albums with the SLSO, and nurtured the reputation of the orchestra around the world. He also founded the prestigious St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, a nationally-recognized ensemble that showcases the best young musical talent in the St. Louis region.
During the season, Slatkin conducted two programs to packed houses, bringing his unique interpretations of American repertoire - including works by Barber, Bernstein, and Loren Loiacono - that became his signature while he led the SLSO.
On June 19, the SLSO paid homage to Slatkin with a special dinner, including video and music presentations, on the Emerson Concert Stage at Powell Hall.