Leonard Slatkin is an American conductor. He studied at Indiana University and Los Angeles City College before attending the Juilliard School where he studied conducting under Jean Paul Morel. His conducting debut came in 1966, and in 1968 he was made an assistant conductor at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He stayed there until 1977, when he was made conductor of the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra.
Slatkin returned to St Louis in 1979 as music director of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra. The national profile of the orchestra increased notably under his tenure. He was the director of the Blossom Festival of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1990-1999. In 1996, Slatkin took over the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and his tenure with the National Symphony will conclude in 2008. In 2006, he was named the music advisor to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (Tennessee).
In 1990, Leonard Slatkin was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. On October 27th, 2006, the Jacobs School of Music announced that Slatkin will be joining the faculty at Indiana University where he will teach conducting and composition part-time.