Ludovic Morlot and Seattle Symphony Launch New Season with Morlot’s First-Ever Semi-Staged Opera at Benaroya Hall, Three New Recordings, Five Commissions, Hilary Hahn as Featured Artist, Thomas Dausgaard in Three Masterworks Concerts, Tribute to Quincy Jones and a Continuing Commitment to Strengthening its Community
Season Opens September 17
Seattle, WA–Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony launch a dynamic 2016–2017 season exploring diverse symphonic repertoire and engaging with Seattle’s creative community through innovative concerts and in-depth community and education programs. The season begins on September 17 and runs through June 2017. See season highlights below.
Morlot Conducts Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges
In his first semi-staged opera at Benaroya Hall, Morlot will lead the lyrical fantasy L'enfant et les sortilèges (“The Child and the Spells”). Multi-disciplinary stage director and designer Anne Patterson will create unique semi-staging and design for this production.
Featured Artist Hilary Hahn
As Featured Artist in the 2016–2017 season, Hilary Hahn will perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto on the Masterworks Season as well as a solo recital on the Distinguished Artists series. While in Seattle she will also take part in the Seattle Symphony’s education and community engagement programs.
Five Commissions and Premieres
Seattle Symphony commissions to be performed this season include new orchestral works from Agata Zubel, Gabriel Prokofiev, Kenji Bunch, and Aaron Jay Kernis. Kernis’ Violin Concerto will feature violinist James Ehnes. Notable premieres also include the U.S. premiere of a new work by Helen Grime.
Thomas Dausgaard Leads Three Programs
Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard conducts Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, and all-Rachmaninov and all-Strauss programs.
Seattle Symphony Media to Release Three New Recordings This Season
The Symphony’s in-house record label will release three new recordings this season, including a disc of Berlioz Cantatas; a recording featuring live performances of Berio’s Sinfonia with Roomful of Teeth from the 2015–2016 season paired with Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier Waltzes and Ravel’s La valse; and a recording of Stravinsky’s The Firebird paired with Vladimir Nikolaev’s tribute to Jimi Hendrix The Sinewaveland which was recorded during its premiere on the Orchestra’s cross-genre Sonic Evolution concert.
The 2016–2017 season of [untitled], the relaxed, late-night contemporary concerts in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby, explores the work of modern Polish, Russian and American composers including a staged performance of selections from Heath Allen and Dan Visconti’s ANDY: A Popera.
Seattle Symphony Chorale Repertoire Highlights
Morlot will conduct the Seattle Symphony’s all-volunteer Chorale in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ligeti’s Requiem and Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine. In addition, the orchestra and Chorale will perform Elgar’s oratorio The Dream of Gerontius under British conductor Edward Gardner who makes his Seattle Symphony debut with these concerts.
Seattle Symphony’s cross-genre Sonic Evolution concert has become a much anticipated event in the city every season. The 2016–2017 Sonic Evolution pays tribute to composer, record producer, conductor and humanitarian Quincy Jones, who is honored with a new work by composer Kenji Bunch. The concert also celebrates Quincy Jones’ classmate at Seattle’s Garfield High School, the legendary jazz and blues singer Ernestine Anderson. Ludovic Morlot invites the famed Garfield High School Jazz Band and singer Grace Love to perform in concert.
Shostakovich Concerto Festival
Associate Conductor Pablo Rus Broseta will lead a Shostakovich Concerto Festival featuring the first and second concertos each for piano, violin and cello. Featured guest artists include 2015 Seattle Symphony Piano Competition winner Kevin Ahfat, violinist Aleksey Semenenko and cellist Edgar Moreau.
Two-Year Beethoven Cycle
Ludovic Morlot’s sixth season with the orchestra continues the two-year cycle of all nine Beethoven symphonies and all five piano concertos. The season includes Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9, as well as Piano Concertos Nos. 3 and 5, featuring pianists Inon Barnatan in his Seattle Symphony debut, and Emanuel Ax, respectively.
Serving and Partnering with the Local Community Through Community Connections and Education Programs in Public Schools & Universities
The Seattle Symphony’s comprehensive Community Connections program for nonprofit organizations provides access for a wide range of communities to attend Symphony performances for free, attend pre-concert workshops and participate in in-depth creative projects. The Seattle Symphony currently partners with more than 60 local nonprofits across six sectors including youth, cultural, health services, social services, seniors, and active military and veterans. Projects include customized pre-concert events, music-making workshops, creative projects and community concerts.
Last season, the Seattle Symphony gave away approximately 1,800 concert tickets to over 50 local nonprofits. Teaching Artists made close to 80 community site visits and facilitated five creative residencies. In addition, in-depth special projects such as the Lullaby Project and prison visits further enhance the Orchestra’s presence and work in the community.
Earlier this year the Symphony launched Simple Gifts, a multi-year initiative in response to city and county declarations of a State of Emergency for the homelessness crisis. With an expansion of the Symphony’s current partnerships serving those experiencing homelessness, the program shares the inspiration of music to spark joy, alleviate trauma and connect individuals with their creativity. Currently working with nearly 15 partner organizations in the region, the program encompasses four areas of work including Artistic Partnerships, Residency Programs, Community Service and Ticketing Programs.
An avid advocate for music education in schools and mentoring young musicians, Ludovic Morlot participates in many different facets of the Orchestra’s education projects. Through programs such as Community and Side-by-Side concerts with local high school and youth orchestras which are free to the public, the annual Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop, and the annual Young Artists Auditions where young musicians are chosen to perform with the orchestra, Morlot and the Orchestra have redoubled their commitment to mentor the next generation of young conductors and musicians throughout the region. Since 2013 Ludovic Morlot has served as Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies in the University of Washington’s School of Music, where he teaches along with UW Director of Orchestras David Alexander Rahbee. In this capacity, Morlot makes multiple appearances at the University each year, leading classes and seminars in conducting as well as providing personal mentorship to select conducting students. Students in the program also attend Seattle Symphony rehearsals throughout the season as part of their training under Morlot.
About the Seattle Symphony
The Seattle Symphony is one of America's leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received two Grammy Awards, 21 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.
Concert tickets can be purchased online at www.seattlesymphony.org, by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or (866) 833-4747, or in person at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office on the corner of Third Avenue and Union Street. Tickets may also be purchased through the Seattle Symphony's iPhone and Android apps by searching “Seattle Symphony” or “Listen Boldly” at Apple's App Store or Android's App Store.
2016–2017 Masterworks Sponsor: Delta Air Lines.
Support for Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges is generously provided by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund. Concert sponsorship provided by the Nesholm Family Foundation. Audience development supported by the Wallace Foundation.
Support for Ligeti’s Requiem is generously provided by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund.
Support for the Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine is generously provided by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund.
Hilary Hahn’s 2016–2017 residency is generously supported by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund.
Hilary Hahn’s solo recital sponsored by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Gabriel Prokofiev’s commission is sponsored by Norman Sandler and Dale Chihuly in honor of their wives Leslie Jackson Chihuly and Elisabeth Beers-Sandler.
The commission by Aaron Jay Kernis is generously supported by Patricia Tall-Takacs and Gary Takacs.
James Ehnes’ performances are generously underwritten by Dana and Ned Laird.
Alexander Melnikov’s performances are generously underwritten by Ilene and Woody Hertzog.
Media Sponsor for Alexander Melnikov’s performance is Classical KING FM 98.1.
Pekka Kuusisto’s performances are generously underwritten by the Hot Chocolate Fund.
The Seattle Symphony is grateful to Joan Watjen for her generous support of Seattle Symphony Media CDs in memory of her husband Craig.
[untitled] is generously supported by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund.
[untitled] Sponsored by the Bagley and Virginia Wright foundation.
Media Sponsor for [untitled] is SECONDINVERSION.ORG.
Sonic Evolution is sponsored by Delta Air Lines.
Media Sponsors for Sonic Evolution are SECONDINVERSION.ORG and CityArts.
The Seattle Symphony’s Family, School & Community programs are supported by 4Culture, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Boeing Company, Chihuly Garden + Glass, Citi Community Capital, The Clowes Fund, Inc., the Elizabeth McGraw Foundation, the Fales Foundation Trust, Key Bank Foundation, the League of American Orchestras, Richard and Francine Loeb, Kjristine Lund, D.V. and Ida J. McEachern Charitable Trust, Music4Life, Music Works Northwest, the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, the Peg and Rick Young Foundation, Peo Tours, Inc., Russell Investments, Seattle Pacific University, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Christine and Michel Suignard, Ten Grands Seattle, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, the U.S. Bank Foundation, UW Autism Center, Weill Music Institute, Wells Fargo Foundation and the Wyman Youth Trust.