The Harriet Overton Stimson Music Director
French conductor Ludovic Morlot is in his fifth season as Music Director of the Seattle Symphony. There have been many highlights during his first four seasons in this position, including an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2014, as reported in The New York Times: “The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy.”
During the 2015–2016 season he leads the Seattle Symphony in a wide variety of works including the launch of a two-year cycle of Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos; Berio's Sinfonia featuring vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth; Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4; Mahler’s Symphony No. 1; and Fauré’s Requiem. Complemented by the Seattle Symphony’s highly innovative series, Symphony Untuxed and [untitled], this season will also see the release of several more recordings on the orchestra’s new label, Seattle Symphony Media.
Morlot was also Chief Conductor of La Monnaie, one of Europe’s most prestigious opera houses, for three years (2012–2014). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenůfa and Pelléas et Mélisande. Concert performances, both in Brussels and Aix-en-Provence, included repertoire by Beethoven, Britten, Bruneau, Stravinsky and Webern.
Morlot’s orchestral engagements this season include returns to the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He also has a strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra whom he has conducted in Boston, Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of North America. This relationship started in 2001 when he was the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor at the Tanglewood Music Center and subsequently appointed Assistant Conductor for the orchestra and their Music Director James Levine (2004–2007). Morlot has also conducted the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
In Europe, Morlot will this season make his debut with the Geneva Camerata conducting a Homage to Ligeti and will also return to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Morlot has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Budapest Festival, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Orchestre National de France, Royal Concertgebouw, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Morlot served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002–2004).
Trained as a violinist, Morlot studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Royal College of Music as recipient of the Norman del Mar Conducting Fellowship. Morlot was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music and lives in Seattle with his wife, Ghizlane, and their two children.
Images © Ben VanHouten