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Leonard Slatkin To Step Down As Music Director Of Detroit Symphony
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DSO maestro Slatkin to step down in 2018

, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer 5:29 p.m. EST December 3, 2015

Think of it as Leonard Slatkin's version of "The Long Goodbye."

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra  announced Thursday that Slatkin, 71, has signed a new deal to remain music director through the 2017-18 season. After that he'll assume the title of music director laureate. For at least two seasons he'll maintain a reduced schedule of conducting four weeks of concerts per season and remain involved in artistic planning, personnel decisions and administrative duties until his successor is firmly in place. Slatkin will be 73 when his tenure officially ends after 10 seasons in 2018, and the changes are part of a broader rethinking of his priorities as he approaches his 75th birthday.

"I'm very proud of what everybody has done," Slatkin said Tuesday. "There wasn't too much left to do in terms of new initiatives. This is exactly the right time to think about turning it over."

Slatkin has been mulling his future with the DSO for quite a while but only came to a definitive decision in recent weeks. During his summer vacation this year, Slatkin began writing down the major accomplishments he and the DSO had achieved during his first seven seasons as music director.

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