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Incoming Senior Uses Musical Talents to Pay Tribute to SLSO Conductor Laureate

Incoming Clayton High School senior Katie He had the honor of performing with her quartet at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s (SLSO) celebration of the 50th anniversary of Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin's debut with the SLSO on Wednesday, June 19, at Powell Hall. It was meaningful for Katie and her fellow St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra members to be the only musicians to perform at the dinner event because they represented the program that Slatkin founded in 1970. Since that time, the Youth Orchestra has consistently nurtured some of the brightest young musicians in the St. Louis area.


The quartet, which included Katie (second violin), Charlie Hamilton (first violin), Noah Eagle (viola) and Justin Collins (cello), performed Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13 First movement-Allegro vivace. The group prepared for their performance for several weeks, rehearsing with SLSO First Violinist Angie Smart.


“It was an honor to play on the Powell Hall stage for Conductor Leonard Slatkin and for the rest of the audience,” said Katie. “We are grateful to be given the opportunity to do so.”


The 2018-2019 season marked the 50th anniversary of Slatkin's debut with the SLSO. He began during the 1968-1969 season as Assistant Conductor under Music Director Walter Susskind. Over the next 28 years, he held positions including Associate Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor, culminating in a 17-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor from 1979-1996. Since 1996, Slatkin has held the title of Conductor Laureate with the SLSO.


The SLSO will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Youth Orchestra’s founding throughout the 2019-2020 season.