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Slatkin tapped to top National Symphony

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra director Leonard Slatkin has been tapped to replace Mstislav Rostropovich as the new music director of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Slatkin will serve as music director designate of the NSO until 1996 while he finishes his stint in St. Louis, and will then assume the new full-time post beginning with the 1996-97 season.

His NSO contract — the terms of which were not disclosed — runs to the year 2000.

Slatkin, 49, said he believes “the opportunity for a renewed commitment to the arts is truly possible in the nation’s capital.” He plans to emphasize American music and artists.

Slatkin becomes the fifth NSO music director, following Hans Kindler (1931-49 ), Howard Mitchell (1949-69), Antal Dorati (1970-77) and Rostropovich (1977-94).

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