Ludovic Morlot

Introduction

The French conductor Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of the Seattle Symphony.  During the 2014/15 season Ludovic and the Seattle Symphony will present a wide variety of works ranging from Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak’s last three symphonies, Berlioz Romeo and Juliet and Mahler Symphony No 3 to Ives, Dutilleux and Salonen as well as premieres by Sebastian Currier, Julian Anderson and Trimpin. 
  
Ludovic Morlot is also Chief Conductor of La Monnaie.  This season he will conduct a new production of Don Giovanni and concert performances of Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ. He will also return to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.  He has a particularly close relationship with the latter, with whom he will conduct two subscription weeks, including the world premiere performance of Anne Clyne’s Violin Concerto.  
  
For full biography click here.

Read More >

News & Features

Media Player

Video

  • New JANACEK
    Jenufa (Act 1)

Audio

Schedule

Benaroya Hall, SEATTLE

CHABRIER Espana
TCHAIKOVSKY Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32
HINDEMITH Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Weber
With Seattle Youth Symphony & Seattle Symphony 'side-by-side

Benaroya Hall, SEATTLE

Concert that celebrates Seattle’s musical legacy of innovation with brand-new symphonic compositions inspired by musical icons Pearl Jam, Nirvana and others.
With Seattle Symphony
Mike McCready, special guest

Benaroya Hall, SEATTLE

BERLIOZ Le Corsaire Overture, Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
DEBUSSY Iberia, Suite for Orchestra
RAVEL La Valse
With Seattle Symphony
Christian Tetzlaff, violin

Benaroya Hall, SEATTLE

BERLIOZ Le Corsaire Overture, Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
DEBUSSY Iberia, Suite for Orchestra
RAVEL La Valse
With Seattle Symphony
Christian Tetzlaff, violin

Benaroya Hall, SEATTLE

BERLIOZ Le Corsaire Overture, Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
DEBUSSY Iberia, Suite for Orchestra
RAVEL La Valse
With Seattle Symphony
Christian Tetzlaff, violin

Load More

Seattle Symphony

Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of Seattle Symphony.  
 
There have been many highlights during his first three seasons in this position, including an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2014, as reported in the The New York Times: ‘The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colours and tremulous energy.’  During the 2014/15 season Ludovic and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to ‘listen boldly’, presenting a wide variety of works ranging from Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak’s last three symphonies, Berlioz Romeo and Juliet and Mahler Symphony No 3 to Ives, Dutilleux and Salonen as well as premieres by Sebastian Currier, Julian Anderson and Trimpin. 
  
Announcement of 2014/15 season, watch here.
  
Seattle Symphony announced the launch of their new in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media in Spring 2014. The first three releases feature live and studio recordings of works by French and American composers. 

Watch this video to find more.
 
Seattle Times article here.

In May 2014, Seattle Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. Receiving rave reviews in the New York Times and the Financial Times.

Read More >

La Monnaie

Ludovic Morlot is Chief Conductor of La Monnaie. 
   
This season he will conduct a new production of Don Giovanni and concert performances of Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ. He has previously conducted Pelléas et Mélisande, Così fan tutte, La Clemenza di Tito and Jenufa as well as orchestral concerts in both Brussels and Aix-en-Provence.
   
Ludovic Morlot will step down from his position at La Monnaie at the end of 2014. Press release here.


 

Read More >

Press

John Luther Adams

CD Recording

With Seattle Symphony on their own label

Morlot fully realizes the subtleties of the undulating score, which builds into surging, wavelike peaks of sound at three key intervals. The Seattle Symphony — the same orchestra featured on the Seattle Opera “Ring” set — does a heroic job here as well. Seattle Times 9 November 2014
His two obsessions combine in Become Ocean, an enormous seascape that won him this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music and is performed with sensational swimminess by the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot. It’s partly a warning about global warming, but that makes this intricately constructed 42-minute immersion sound worthy, when listening to it is all about just giving in to the flow. 
(4 star review) The Times

Concert 6 November

With the Seattle Symphony

Morlot drew out the absorbing emotions, the angst and the calm in Tchaikovsky’s familiar Fourth Symphony, with fine playing from the musicians. It was easy to sense the composer’s alternating misery and moments of hope in this performance.

Seattle Times 7 November 2014

BBC Music Magazine CD Review

Review of the first four discs on the Seattle Symphony's own Label

The technical standard of the playing is extremely high. The orchestra negotiates the perils of Dutilleux's 'Scherzo' with apparent sangfroid, and at the speed indicated...Ludovic Morlot and the engineers make sure we hear all the counterpoint in the more complex scores such as the Ives Symphony and the Rapsodie espagnole, and overall the more energetic passages receive the treatment they deserve...The American disc is a must for the recording of the premiere of Carter's 'Instances', his last orchestral work, dedicated 'to Ludovic Morlot, who has performed many of my works so beautifully'. A marvellous piece, superbly played. BBC Music Magazine

Gramophone Magazine CD review

Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony's performance [Ives Symphony No 2]...is an interpretation of terrific integrity, bold but based on sound architectural foundtions and with a sure sense of shape, momentum and, as in the Saint-Saens Symphony [No 3], an acute ear for the nitty-gritty of the orchestral fabric. Gramophone Magazine, Awards Edition 2014

RAVEL/SAINT-SAENS

CD Recording

Seattle Symphony

"One of the attractive features of this Seattle disc, however, is that it has a true ensemble quality...The hall's acoustics, too, foster a good clear, well-balanced sound, of which Morlot is able to take full advantage in refined instrumental detail and colouring of the exuberance and sultriness in Ravel's Alborada del gracioso and Rapsodie espagnole with a limpid mellowness and warmth in the Pavane pour une enfante défunte. In the Saint-Saens Symphony, these same traits of lucid definition are coupled with a natural feel for the music's pulse and expressive flux. Contracts of energy and restraint are eloquently moulded here into a cohesive dramatic shape." The Daily Telegraph , 12 July 2014

Dutilleux & Ravel

Concert: 5 June 2014

Seattle Symphony

Dutilleux’s Second Symphony is incisive yet wildly colorful, and Mr. Morlot and the Seattle players did it justice on all counts. The orchestra and chorus (vocalizing textless swoons and moans) also gave an excellent account of Daphnis et Chloé. New York Times, 8 June 2014

Barbican Debut

BBC Symphony Orchestra, 24 May 2014

Morlot was absolutely sure-footed, conjuring a wonderful palette of colour from the BBC orchestra in a score that dazzles with echoes of composers from Offenbach to Stravinsky and yet manages to be unmistakably and idiomatically Poulenc from start to finish. The Guardian, 27 May 2014
Morlot covered himself in liturgical glory with a carefully-considered reading that held many incidental beauties [Faure Requiem]. He used Fauré's full orchestration less to upholster the Requiem than to refine it: for most of its duration he kept such a tight leash on his players that their sound appeared to emerge from within the choral texture itself, like light from a stained glass window. The Arts Desk 25 May 2014
The orchestra brought out the multitude of colours that makes up Poulenc's wind-heavy orchestration. Morlot's tempi were on the fast side, fitting for this very fast-paced opera. Bachtrack, 26 May 2014

Concert 15 May 2014

Seattle Symphony

No. 70 begins “Vivace con brio.” In Morlot’s hands it was certainly fast, and had a lightness and clear articulation in the strings which gave it plenty of “brio,” even ebullience. Vibrato was only used as an ornament. There was serenity in the second movement, robustness in the third and the forward-looking fourth sounded exciting and urgent...Morlot gave this Haydn symphony and Mozart’s Symphony No 36, (the “Linz”), which ended the program, an infinite variety of colors and shadings which in turn produced subtle changes of mood and expectation.

Seattle Times 17 May 2014

Carnegie Hall debut

Seattle Symphony Orchestra, May 2014


The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy. The engagement of the musicians with this work, and with Mr. Morlot, came through in every moment. [John Luther Adams' Become Ocean]
 
If Become Ocean tries to lull you into a reflective state, Desérts [Varèse] tries to rile you up with gritty blasts of dissonance, spare motifs and sputtering rhythmic figures. But it was the suspenseful, restrained stretches of the piece that stood out in this compelling performance.

After Become Ocean, the expanses of Debussy’s La Mer seemed by comparison animated, eventful and wild. This had also to do with the unusually bright, vibrant and muscular performance Mr. Morlot drew from the orchestra, a bold approach to a familiar score.
New York Times
..it was a wonderful concert, imaginatively planned and brilliantly executed.  The central attraction involved the New York premiere of John Luther Adams' Become Ocean.. the score casts a fine abstract spell, predicated on constantly evolving textures and surprising dynamic structures. After the interval, Morlot reinforced the modernist sparkle of Edgard Varèse's Déserts and mastered a propulsive exploration of Debussy's La Mer. Without fuss, he matched technical bravura with expressive bravado.
Financial Times (5 stars)
Seattle Symphony caused a sensation last night. 
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Lucid textures and thoughtful playing suggested that this is an orchestra as at home in the old as the new. Nothing more could be asked. Bachtrack.com
"...A meditation on climate extremes, prompting thoughts of one coast drenched in floods and the other parched by drought, the program was that rarest of classical happenings: an intellectual event. Just as significant was the twentieth and twenty-first-century chamber concert that the orchestra had mounted the previous night at (Le) Poisson Rouge. This was representative of an auxiliary Seattle Symphony series called '[untitled]', and it suggested a new, more flexible kind of ensemble." Alex Ross, New Yorker, 26 May 2014

Dutilleux

CD recording

Seattle Symphony

This beautifully recorded disc is a knockout...Dutilleux’s Symphony No. 1 is a gorgeous, eerie, shape-shifting dynamo of a piece. Morlot’s handling of the piece’s protean timbres and melodies is seamless and seductive. He makes a mesmerizing case that this is one of the great 20th-century symphonic classics. Recorded live in Benaroya Hall, they serve both as keepsakes for those lucky enough to have attended the concerts and as eloquent indications of where the Symphony is headed, both sonically and in terms of repertoire, under Morlot’s direction. Seattle Times
Morlot shows himself a master of Dutilleux’s idiom. New York Times, June 2014
Light, flux and precision are key components in the ultra-refined aesthetic of Henri Dutilleux... They are unmistakable in this attractive conspectus of the French composer's symphonic work, which explores abstract musical ideas in a traditional but highly personal - to engaging effect in the Debussyan First Symphony.  Financial Times (4 stars)

DEBUSSY

La Mer

Seattle Symphony March 2014

'La Mer' found Morlot and the orchestra at their best, producing urgent, lyrical washes of colors that positively shimmered throughout every section. Warm, well balanced and full of life, this is an orchestral sound of remarkable beauty.

The Seattle Times

DEBUSSY

Images

RSO Berlin, March 2014

Le matin d’un jour de fête captured the playful atmosphere of a fair as the violinists strummed their instruments in dialogue with the winds...Morlot maintained a high energy among the players that captured the fresh splendour of spring.
Musical America

Bruneau Requiem, CD recording

La Monnaie Orchestra

Imagine the flamboyant influence of Berlioz leavened by Fauré's soft lyricism, and you get Bruneau's Requiem. It makes a more than passing impression in this strongly committed performance. BBC Music Magazine, April 2014

The performance in general rises to the occasion, and the orchestra alone is mellifluously shaped and hauntingly shaded for Marius Constant's distillation of Debussy's Pelléas and Mélisande.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

Orchestre National de France

Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

The technical precision of the conductor was certainly needed for this piece and he brought out all the textures of the music and the beauty of the orchestration Res Musica

Jenůfa - February/March 2014

La Monnaie

"In the pit Ludovic Morlot, now in his second season as La Monnaie’s chief conductor (he is also music director of the Seattle Symphony), is alert to the score’s churning musical motifs and dramatic tension..." New York Times 30 January 2014
The conductor Ludovic Morlot seemed unperturbed by his first encounter with a Janàcek opera, handling the tricky orchestration without apparent difficulty, and there was no weakness in the cast. Opera Magazine May

Recording Bruneau Requiem

La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra

"There are passages of great serenity that pre-empt Fauré's famous setting, which might not have seemed so groundbreaking in its day if Bruneau's version had been premiered first. Ludovic Morlot and his Belgian forces sound classy in it." The Guardian 9 January 2014

Mahler

Symphony No. 6

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"The virtues of Morlot’s interpretation began with the lean and incisive sonorities he etched from the start. Every shade of color was extracted from the huge orchestral forces, and it was not just the loud passages that came off so well. There were warmly poetic horn solos by Jeffrey Fair, suitably grinding ensembles in the trombone section. The slow movement seemed more complex in texture than it usually sounds. We were treated throughout to singing woodwinds, remarkably delicate snare-drum playing by Michael Werner, great radiant, soaring lines from the high violins, and in the finale, clouds of urgent polyphony that spread enthrallingly through the whole string choir."
Seattle Times, 8 November 2013

MOZART

Clemenza di Tito

La Monnaie

"At the head of the orchestra on good form was Ludovic Morlot who conducted vigorously from the pit, giving freedom to the more sensitive parts and allowing soloists to showcase themselves." Luxemburger Wort

Concert 16 September 2013

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"The Slavic-accented, dance-centric bonbons (two of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, three of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, plus the Toccata of Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov) demonstrated the orchestra is opening the season in a state of fairly robust health. Morlot and his players demonstrated rapport and spirit in these colorful works, with associate conductor Stilian Kirov taking over for the Vladigerov. The chorale, prepared by Joseph Crnko, sounded overpowering and occasionally a bit unsteady in the Borodin." Seattle 16 November 2013 - Melinda Bargreen

Concert 27 June 2013

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

[For Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde]
"It was a remarkable performance. A listener didn’t have to know the story to feel the moods portrayed — the yearning, the emotions, the hopes and the sadness in Morlot’s expansive, rich interpretation." Seattle Times 28 June 2013

Britten's War Requiem

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"The work itself is an artistic statement of a scope so ambitious and a character so profound that, as the London Times critic William Mann remarked after its premiere in 1962, "every performance it is given ought to be a momentous occasion." Such, indeed, this performance conducted by Ludovic Morlot certainly was. Indeed, it was an interpretation of such triumphant splendor as to take me right back to the overwhelming impact the work had on me when I listened on the radio to its world premiere at the consecration of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral all of 51 years ago." Seattle Times 14 Jun 2013

MOZART

Cosi fan Tutte

La Monnaie

"he knew instinctively how to bring out the rhythm, energy and spirit needed for this light and captivating Cosi fan Tutte" Le Vif

Messiaen Turangalila Symphony

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"With so much going on in the piece, the trick is to keep the multiple layers and rhythms intelligible. Morlot made intricate, crystalline sense of it all."

Seattle Times 1 Feb 2013

Concert 3 January 2013

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"The Rachmaninov Second can sound muddy and cluttered when the pianist and the orchestra battle for supremacy in this dense, passionate score. Morlot and the orchestra concentrated instead on transparency as well as power, letting Grosvenor’s solo part shine through, and making his dialogues with various orchestral soloists much more effective." Seattle Times 4 January 2013

Concert 8 November 2012

La Monnaie Orchestra

"It was all smiles from 'his' orchestra on Thursday evening, with Ludovic Morlot, new Chief Conductor of La Monnaie. Calm baton, energetic but precise, simple gestures creating an ultimate opening sound."

Le Soir, 10 November 2012

Concert 21 September 2012

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

That effect, happily, was to be felt throughout an enterprising and well-balanced program. The Sixth Symphony is quite possibly the Bohemian composer’s [Martinu's] greatest work. For listeners encountering it for the first time, Ludovic Morlot’s impeccably paced and warmly expressive performance must have made an ideal introduction... However much Pines may indulge Respighi’s—and our—taste for the colorful and the picturesque, its deeper strength lies in its refusal to evade sterner matters. Here, by and large, is a stirring rather than merely pretty or anecdotal vision of an empire’s grandeur, and it was realized with thrilling immediacy by Morlot and the orchestra. Seen and Heard International 27 September 2012
Morlot conducted with exuberance and obvious enjoyment, managing even in this score [Respighi's Pines of Rome] to create some subtlety in the shaping of the dynamics, and reining in the players for some passages of hushed, tranquil beauty. Seattle Times September 21 2012

Concert 15 September 2012

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"Both here and in the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s West Side Story at the end of the program, Ludovic Morlot, inaugurating his second season as the Seattle Symphony’s music director, crafted a very convincing impression of an American conductor, facilitating his players’ realization of the music’s often teasing rhythms as if he had them in his very bones." Seen and Heard International 20 September 2012

Concert 17 July 2012

Hollywood Bowl, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

"Each half of the program opened with the Weber overtures ("Der Freischütz" and "Oberon"), and Morlot made them brilliantly electric. The conductor, unusually for the Bowl, divided the violins and put the basses on his left...The result was
transparency and a tactile sound" LA Times 18 July 2012

Arpeghis

Shot in the Dark

International Contemporary Ensemble

"Guest conductor Ludovic Morlot, music director of the Seattle Symphony, led the ICE instrumentalists in a score that changed direction, color and tone relentlessly..."Shot in the Dark" settled on no particular musical vocabulary for very long. Conductor Morlot kept vocalist and instrumentalists in sync, no small feat." Chicago Tribune, 27 May 2012

Seattle Symphony

New York Times

"The ranks of West Coast music directors now include Ludovic Morlot, who in his first season at the Seattle Symphony has galvanized the orchestra and the city with his charismatic leadership and inventive programming." New York Times, March 2012

Concert: January 2012

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

"37-year-old Frenchman dominated the whole evening with finesse and elegance, along with warmth and depth of sound." Der Tagesspiegel Berlin, 20 January 2012

Concert: January 2012

Seattle Symphony

"Music director Ludovic Morlot's interpretation of "Der Freischütz" was more classical and poetic...In the Bruch, Morlot was an exemplary conductor, keeping the orchestra closely with the soloist"

Seattle Times, 11 January 2012

RAVEL

Daphnis and Chloe

Boston Symphony Orchestra

"Morlot conducted a crack performance...The “Daphnis” suite dazzled. The winds, chirping like birds and providing the splashing sounds of nymphs in frolic, were extraordinary. The suave strings were more French than the French. The Boston brass presented a magical power of boldness in containment." Los Angeles Times, 11 December 2011

Concert: November 2011

Boston Symphony Orchestra

"Morlot put his own stamp on the music, bringing brisk, sharp-edged energy...the “Danse générale’’ [Daphnis et Chloe] was especially tight, razor-sharp accents, a dazzlingly precise laser show. The Mahler, too, excelled in extroversion, the klezmer accents in the third movement volubly rich, the finale barreling toward major-key triumph with assertive hedonism." The Boston Globe, 25 November 2011

Berlioz

Roman Carnival Overture

Boston Symphony Orchestra

"The night began with Berlioz’s 'Roman Carnival' Overture, which Morlot brought vigorously charging out of the gate, drawing plenty of sparkling playing from the orchestra, precise yet never fussy."

The Boston Globe, 18 November 2011

Stravinsky

Rite of Spring

Seattle Symphony

"the conductor either gets it right or he doesn't, and Morlot, on Thursday, got it triumphantly right. This was a reading of the lithe, refreshingly unpompous variety!" Seattle Times, 30 September 2011

Beethoven

Symphony No 3

Seattle Symphony

"Morlot led a high-energy reading of the "Eroica," full of big dynamic contrasts, beautiful phrasing and carefully characterized musical gestures. The orchestra gave him a big-hearted performance, with playing at a level that augurs for a thrilling season to come.""Morlot led a high-energy reading of the "Eroica," full of big dynamic contrasts, beautiful phrasing and carefully characterized musical gestures. The orchestra gave him a big-hearted performance, with playing at a level that augurs for a thrilling season to come." Seattle Times, 23 September 2011

DUTILLEUX

Symphony No 2

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

"Morlot was well inside this fascinating score, coordinating the two groups seamlessly while bringing out its jazzy syncopations, astringent, Stravinskyan harmonies and coloristic subtleties of scoring." The Chicago Tribune, 20 May 2011

Concert: April 2011

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

"The Frenchman swept the orchestra to great heights. Morlot wasn't intimidated by the fact that he was working with a top orchestra, indeed he challenged them. The orchestra played with greater flexibility, adventure and boldness than usual. The strings flourished especially." De Volkskrant, 9 April 2011

Poulenc

Les Mamelles de Tirésias

Opera de Lyon

"With such lavish scenery and video projections on stage one might worry that the music would be eclipsed. This however did not happen thanks to the direction of Ludovic Morlot who guided the spirited orchestra." Opera, 7th December 2010

LOAD MORE

Recordings

FAURE

Masques et bergamasques
Fantaisie for Flute / orch. Talmi
Pelléas et Mélisande Suite 
Berceuse for Violin and Orchestra
Élégie for Cello and Orchestra
Dolly / orch. Rabaud
Pavane 
  
Demarre McGill, flute
Alexander Velinzon, violin
Efe Baltacıgil, cello
Seattle Symphony Chorale
Seattle Symphony Media (SSM1004)

BRUNEAU Requiem

La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra
Vlaams Radio Koor 
Children Chorus of La Monnaie / De Munt 
Mireille Delunsch, soprano
Nora Gubisch, mezzo-soprano
Edgaras Montvidas, tenor
Jérôme Varnier, bass 
Cypres Records