Get local news delivered straight to your phone
We can't make City Paper without you
Washington, D.C., won’t have Leonard Slatkin to kick around anymore. The National Symphony Orchestra’s longtime music director is off to Detroit after the Kennedy Center decided against renewing his contract, but not before a proper send-off. D.C.’s dwindling and increasingly geriatric classical music community was at best ambivalent about the 63-year-old conductor: His 12-year tenure was marked by grousing from the Muppet Show balcony critics, who bemoaned both the declining interest in classical and the NSO’s earnest but sometimes embarrassing efforts to reverse this (see “Video Games Live!”—classical renditions of songs from Halo and World of Warcraft). Nevertheless, Slatkin left his mark. He revived interest in Russian, British, and American composers in a field dominated by Austrians and Germans, and he knew how to connect with an audience, if not with Statler and Waldorf. In this program, Slatkin will highlight some of the best of his repertoire—Shostakovich, Elgar, and Bernstein—and will be joined by master cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $25–$150. (202) 467-4600.