Conductors

Ludovic Morlot

Music Director, Seattle Symphony

© Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Introduction

Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. During the 2018/19 season they will focusing particularly on the music of Debussy, and works by composers he influenced or that influenced him. Amongst others, newly commissioned works this season are Caroline Shaw’s Piano Concerto and the US premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s At Swim-Two-Birds. The orchestra have many successful recordings, which have won two Grammy Awards.

This season, Ludovic’s guest engagements include the Houston, Detroit, Melbourne and Bamberg Symphony Orchestras, and the Netherlands Radio, BBC and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2018 his summer festival appearances included the BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festival (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), the Caramoor Festival (Orchestra of St Luke’s), the Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra) and the Aspen Music Festival.

He also has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra having been the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor in 2001 at Tanglewood and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra (2004-07). Since then he has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.

Guest engagements have included the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, National Youth Orchestra of China, Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Budapest Festival, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras. Ludovic served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002-04) and was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie (2012-2014).

Ludovic is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.


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Discography

  • More info  
    15 Aug 18 BBC Proms City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Royal Albert Hall

    “His fine hold over the architecture of the piece [Lili Boulanger Psalm 130 (“Du fond de l’abime”)] paid dividends, drawing out the finest touches from the delicate instrumentation while applying full force in the terrifying, heartfelt pleas… This was a rich and soulful performance, with a great deal of substance.”

    Mark Thomas, Bachtrack, August 2018

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    03 Aug 18 Sydney Symphony Orchestra
    Sydney Opera House

    “The SSO were in wonderful form under the energetic and engaging Morlot.”

    Steve Moffatt, The Daily Telegraph, August 2018

    “Ludovic Morlot and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra produced iridescent colours and biting flamenco-inspired rhythms. [de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain]”

    Murray Black, The Australian, August 2018

  • More info  
    30 Jun 18 Caramoor Festival Orchestra of St. Luke's
    Katonah

    “The conductor Ludovic Morlot, departing next year as the music director of the thriving Seattle Symphony, began with a bracing account of Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians.”… an exciting performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.”

    Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, July 2018

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    06 Jun 18 George Perle: Orchestral Music CD Seattle Symphony, Bridge Records

    “American cellist Jay Campbell is expressive and assured, conductor Ludovic Morlot balances all wonderfully, and the Seattle Symphony shines. The clever Dance Fantasy (1986) rounds off this remarkable disc.”

    Roger Knox, The Whole Note, June 2018

    “Listen, for instance, to the way in which he [Morlot] gives the fifth of the Six Bagatelles (composed in 1965) ample time to breathe; to find and make its own way as it develops… for Morlot and the Orchestra to bring out what is distinctive to Perle yet reflect his homage is a triumph.”

    Mark Sealey, Musicweb International, June 2018

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    24 May 18 City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Symphony Hall

    “Prokofiev’s irresistible Fifth Symphony made a spectacular conclusion. Morlot built its long reflective passages patiently, and released the music’s balletic subtext colourfully.”

    Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post, 24 May 2018

  • More info  
    09 Apr 18 John Luther Adams Become Desert Seattle Symphony
    Zellerbach Hall

    “Morlot controlled his huge performing forces with subdued fervour, here and in a follow-up reading of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2, notable for its granitic pacing and attention to instrumental detail. The low strings in particular wanted nothing in expressive eloquence. Morlot completes his eight-year contract in Seattle in mid-2019. He will not be easily replaced.”

    Allan Ulrich, Financial Times, 9 April 2018

  • More info  
    30 Mar 18 John Luther Adams Become Desert Seattle Symphony
    Benaroya Hall

    “Mr. Morlot’s affection for the work’s expressive richness came through clearly. Though the piece doesn’t advertise its complexity, it’s easy to imagine a performance of such airily arranged music seeming scattered or listless. The Seattle Symphony never sounded at a loss, though. The audience allowed the piece’s concluding return toward spareness to ring out fully before charging in with enthusiastic applause.”

    Seth Colter Walls, The New York Times, 30 March 2018

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    22 Mar 18 Seattle Symphony
    Benaroya Hall

    “Crammed with beautiful melodies, picturesque episodes and grand statements, the Second Symphony challenges every section of the orchestra to excel individually and collectively…In the last few bars of the Sibelius symphony, when the minor key transforms into the major and it sounds as if the sun has come out, the orchestra played exultantly enough to remind even the most jaded audience member: This is why we go to concerts and don’t just sit at home in front of the stereo speakers.”
    Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times, 23 March 2018

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    19 Oct 17 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Atlanta Symphony Hall

    “Morlot and the ASO rounded out the program with a sure-fire winner, Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse,” giving the composer’s rambunctious, off-center take on the ballroom dance a particularly exhilarating, exuberant rendering that deservedly brought the house to its feet.”
    Mark Gresham, ArtsATL, 20 October 2017

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    23 Jul 17 National Youth Orchestra of China
    Carnegie Hall

    “… Mr. Morlot drew a vibrant account of Dvorak’s New World Symphony from the well-prepared players, with full-bodied string tone, folkloric charm and lots of brio.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 23 July 2017

  • More info  
    25 Jun 17 RAVEL & DE FALLA CD release Seattle Symphony

    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Steven Osborne (piano), Hyperion Records

    “The French conductor brings stylistic flair to Ravel’s bluesy melodies, and the orchestra and Osborne revel in the cascading chords and cakewalky rhythmic piquancy of the D major’s central section.”
    The Sunday Times, Album of the week, 25 June 2017

    “I would go so far as to suggest that this is the finest modern recording of both concertos… Osborne and Morlot catch a much more vivid and nicely drawn Iberian feel to the music. This is the one to have.”
    ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ International Piano, September – October 2017

  • More info  
    05 Jan 17 Seattle Symphony
    Benaroya Hall

    “Morlot made its themes of a divine cosmic resonance spellbinding [MESSIAEN Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine]. He drew out Messiaen’s potent contrasts of meter-defying melody and hectic rhythmic activity, of wild wonder and blissful contemplation. A very different cosmos might have come into view with a more old-fashioned reading of Beethoven’s Ninth. But … Morlot elicited a revelatory transparency of texture in the first movement. It illuminated many a fresh angle in Beethoven’s transformation of his material.”
    Thomas May, The Seattle Times, 6th January 2017

Seattle Symphony

Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of Seattle Symphony, a position he has held since 2011.

During the 2017/18 season they will particularly focus on the music of Berlioz, Stravinsky and Bernstein. In addition, they will be presenting some exciting new works by John Luther Adams, Alexandra Gardner, David Lang and Andrew Norman.

The orchestra record for their own label, Seattle Symphony Media and have won two Grammy Awards. A box set of music by Dutilleux was recently released to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.