Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
December 22
1723 - Composer Carl Friedrich Abel was born.

1808 - First performance of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, Fifth Symphony and Sixth Symphony, at Theatre-an-der-Wein.

1819 - Franz Abt, German conductor and composer of songs, was born in Eilenberg, Saxony.

1858 - Giacomo Puccini Italian opera composer, was born in Lucca

1888 - First performance of J. Brahms' Violin Sonata No. 3 in d, Op. 108, in Budapest

1906 - First performance of Glazunov's Symphony No. 8, in St. Petersburg

1949 - Robin and Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees) were born.

1958 - The Chipmunks were at the #1 position on the music charts. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore sang with David Seville. The Chipmunk Song

1960 - Nathan Currier, US composer, was born.
Can You Guess?
Leonard Slatkin and Frederick Zlotkin are brothers, the sons of Felix Slatkin. Can You Guess why they have different last names?
Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
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Composer Leonard Slatkin
Cellist Frederick Zlotkin
Violinist Felix Slatkin and wife, Cellist Eleanor Slatkin
The Slatkin Clan
What kind of influence can one family have on a culture?  Consider the Slatkin clan!

Felix Slatkin was born on this date in 1915.  Hewas an arranger, conductor and violinist.  He was active in Hollywood from the 1940's through the early '60s. In the 40's, Slatkin was the concertmaster of the 20th Century Fox studio orchestra.  He later conducted the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and formed the Concert Arts Orchestra.  He worked extensively with Frank Sinatra, becoming the singer's concertmaster and conductor of choice. Felix Slatkin was also virtuoso performer in his own right, recording classical albums.  He was also a founding member of the Hollywood String Quartet, with his wife

Eleanor Aller.  Besides her work with the quartet, Aller was a studio musician who was very active in Hollywood.  An accomplished cellist, she was very well regarded.  John Williams, (of Star Wars fame) wrote a prominent cello part for Aller in his score for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Felix and Eleanor had two boys.  Frederick and Leonard.

Frederick Zlotkin is a fourth generation cellist (his great uncle was cellist-conductor Modest Altschuler), who began studying cello with his grandfather at age 4.  He attended Juilliard, receiving bachelorís,  masterís and doctoral degrees there.  He is a winner of the International Music Competition at Geneva.  He has performed as soloist with such organizations as líOrchesta de la Suisse Romande, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony.  He has been solo cellist for the New York City Ballet for over thirty years, and regularly works with the New York Philharmonic.  He has recorded for hundreds of movies and with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Madonna and Aretha Franklin.

Leonard Slatkin studied violin, viola, piano, and conducting. He attended Indiana University and the Juilliard School of Music.  He became the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's assistant conductor in 1968, then was named associate conductor (1971), associate principal conductor (1974), and principal guest conductor (1975). In 1979 he became the orchestra's music director.  Slatkin was music adviser of the New Orleans Philharmonic from 1977 to 1980. From 1979 he was also music director of the Minnesota Orchestra summer concerts. In 1990 he also became music director of the Great Woods Performing Arts Center, the summer home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. From 1991 to 1999 he was the Director of the Blossom Music Center, summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra. In October 1991 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut. In 1992 he was awarded the Elgar Medal. In 1996 Slatkin completed his time with the St. Louis Symphony and was named its conductor laureate.  He then took up the baton at the head of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He remains in the post.  Slatkin also served as music director for the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 200-2004.
The Hollywood String Quartet
Felix Slatkin, Paul Shure, Alvin Dinkin and Eleanor Aller (left to right)
Frederick Zlotkin
Leonard Slatkin
Beethoven 5 and 6
Leonard Slatkin Conducts Elgar
Leonard Slatkin Conducts Elgar
Hollywood String Quartet
Felix Slatkin and Eleanor Aller
Leonard Slatkin
Frederick Zlotkin
Menuhin Shirt
Beethoven Symphonies
5 and 6
Back of Shirt Reads:
"The violinist is that peculiarly human pehnomenon distilled to a rare potency--half tiger, half poet.
            --Yehudi Menuhin"
Did You Guess?
The brothers don't actually have different last names.  Leonard spells it "Slatkin" the same way his father spelled it. Frederick uses the traditional Russian spelling of "Zlotkin". When you play and conduct like these guys, you can spell your name any way you want!
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