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Press Release:


Press Release:

Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

Photo credit:  Brandon Patoc

Season Highlights Include:

Morlot Conducts Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges – In his first opera at Benaroya Hall, Morlot will lead the lyric fantasy L'enfant et les sortilèges (“The Child and the Spells”). Multi-disciplinary stage director and designer Anne Patterson will create unique staging and design for this production.

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.

Sonic Evolution – Next season’s Sonic Evolution concerts honor Seattle’s music history with programs and new music inspired by grunge, indie rock, funk, Afrobeat, R&B and hip-hop. Seattle R&B and hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction are slated to perform.

[untitled] series 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.

Commissions and Premieres – Seattle Symphony commissions to be performed next season include new orchestral works from Agata Zubel, Gabriel Prokofiev, Kenji Bunch, Judd Greenstein 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.


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.


Seattle Symphony Chorale Repertoire Highlights – Morlot will conduct the Seattle Symphony’s all-volunteer Chorale in 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.

Shostakovich Concerto Festival – Assistant Conductor Pablo Rus Broseta, who will take up the post of Associate Conductor in the 2016–2017 season, will lead a Shostakovich Concerto Festival featuring the first and second concertos each for piano, violin and cello. Featured guest artists include Seattle Symphony Piano Competition Winner Kevin Ahfat, violinist Aleksey Semenenko and cellist Edgar Moreau.

Major Guest Artists – Soloists include violinists Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, and Itzhak Perlman; cellists Sol Gabetta and Yo-Yo Ma; and pianists Emanuel Ax, Alexander Melnikov and Yuja Wang.

Season Opens with Renowned Soprano Joyce DiDonato – Joyce DiDonato will give her Seattle Symphony debut in the Opening Night Concert & Gala with Baroque arias in addition to Broadway hits.

LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel to Appear on Season – The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the leadership of Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, comes to Benaroya Hall for a one-night-only concert event featuring Mahler's deeply personal Ninth Symphony.

Seattle Symphony Debuts – Among those making their debuts this season are guest conductors Alan Buribayev, Alessandro De Marchi, James Feddeck, Edward Gardner, Emmanuel Krivine and Shizuo Z Kuwahara; violinist Aleksey Semenenko; cellists Sol Gabetta and Edgar Moreau; and pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Inon Barnatan, Bertrand Chamayou, Lucas Debargue, George Li and Alexei Lubimov.

Subscription packages available now
Single tickets on sale on August 6

Seattle –
Music Director Ludovic Morlot and President & CEO Simon Woods today announced the Grammy-winning orchestra’s 2016–2017 season, presenting an inspiring array of programming that artfully pairs traditional repertoire with bold new works. In Morlot’s sixth season as Music Director, the orchestra will present the second part of the two-year Beethoven Cycle, innovative concert experiences including Sonic Evolution and [untitled], a Shostakovich Concerto Festival, star guest artists, commissions, premieres, recordings on Seattle Symphony Media, and Morlot’s first opera in Benaroya Hall.

“I greatly look forward to a sixth season with the wonderful musicians of the Seattle Symphony,” Morlot said. “We are on a journey together with our audiences to not only experience the most exciting symphonic repertoire that we all know and love, but to also explore new and unique musical voices. I’m very happy to welcome Hilary Hahn as our Featured Artist next season, and we’re excited to invite her to join us in our education and community projects when she is in Seattle.”


Woods added, “In these past few years Ludovic Morlot and the orchestra have become critically acclaimed for inspiring performances in the concert hall and on recordings. We’re thrilled to continue that exciting work next season with programming and projects that reflect the creativity and forward-looking spirit of our audiences and our region, while carrying that same creativity into our work to share music with thousands of local school children and our 50 community partner organizations.”

Ludovic Morlot will conduct his first opera in Benaroya Hall, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges with staging directed and designed by multidisciplinary designer Anne Patterson, and Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine, in addition to well-known works such as the fifth symphonies of Mahler, Prokofiev and Bruckner. This season also marks the second year of a two-year Beethoven Cycle that includes all nine symphonies and all five piano concertos. This season, Ludovic Morlot will conduct Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9, and Piano Concertos Nos. 3 and 5, featuring pianists Inon Barnatan and Emanuel Ax, respectively.

Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard, in his third season with the orchestra, returns to conduct three subscription programs including Nielson’s Symphony No. 3 programmed alongside Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist Pekka Kuusisto and the U.S. premiere of a new work by Helen Grime; an all-Rachmaninov program including Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Alexander Melnikov; and an all-Strauss program consisting of Four Last Songs with Erin Wall and An Alpine Symphony.

As Featured Artist next 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.

The Seattle Symphony will again present two bold Sonic Evolution programs, which in the past have celebrated the city’s unique musical legacy through new commissions and artistic collaborations with artists such as Mike McCready and Sir Mix-a-Lot. In the fall, Ludovic Morlot will lead a Sonic Evolution program focusing on grunge, indie rock and funk. The program features Scott McAllister’s Black Dog, a rhapsody for solo clarinet and wind ensemble that takes inspiration from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, as well as the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s Megalopolis, inspired by the Afrobeat genre, in addition to other pieces and local guest musicians to be announced closer to the performance date. The spring Sonic Evolution concert will feature Seattle R&B/hip hop duo THEESatisfaction which will perform a world premiere by composer Judd Greenstein, commissioned for this occasion.

The inventive and relaxed late-night [untitled] concert series returns with three distinctive themes. The first, an all-Polish program conducted by Ludovic Morlot and Pablo Rus Broseta, includes guest composer and soprano Agata Zubel, who will perform her own Chapter 13. In addition, two works by Lutosławski will be performed, including Chain 1 and Chantefleurs et Chantefables with Agata Zubel. The second program features three works by Russian composers including Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky’s Récit de Voyage, Ustvolskaya’s Octet for 4 violins, 2 oboes, timpani and piano with pianist Alexei Lubimov, and Pavel Karmanov’s The City I Love and Hate. The final program is inspired by two American icons, Andy Warhol and Thelonius Monk. The program includes Paul Moravec’s Andy Warhol Sez, Yannis Kyriakides’ tinkling conducted by Pablo Rus Broseta, and a staged performance of selections from ANDY: A Popera, by Heath Allen and Dan Visconti.

The Seattle Symphony’s dedication to commissioning new works is once again evident with commissions from Agata Zubel, Gabriel Prokofiev, Kenji Bunch, Judd Greenstein 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.

The season will open with Ludovic Morlot conducting an ebullient program featuring acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato at the Opening Night Concert & Gala on Saturday, September 17. The program will include Handel’s Overture from Music for the Royal Fireworks and “Ombra mai fu” Aria from Xerxes; Pacini’s “Ove t’aggiri, o barbaro” (“Where are you, O cruel man?”) from Stella di Napoli; Rossini’s “Tanti affetti” (“So many emotions”) from La donna del lago; Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel; Bernstein’s Overture from West Side Story; Bernstein & Sondheim’s “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story; and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” from Girl Crazy.

In addition to the Opening Night Concert & Gala, other special concert events not included in the subscription series and currently available to subscribers only are: cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1; violinist Itzhak Perlman, performing J.S. Bach’s Violin and Oboe Concerto alongside Principal Oboe Mary Lynch as well as conducting Mozart’s Requiem; Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 9; the festival-like Celebrate Asia event honoring Seattle’s Asian communities and conducted by Shizuo Z Kuwahara; a one-night-only performance by the King’s College Choir; two Sonic Evolution performances; and a full line-up of Holiday events. 

In addition to a solo performance by violinist Hilary Hahn, the Distinguished Artists recital series will feature a duo recital with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Yuja Wang, and a duo piano recital featuring Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin.

Making their debuts this season are guest conductors Alan Buribayev, Alessandro De Marchi, James Feddeck, Edward Gardner, Emmanuel Krivine and Shizuo Z Kuwahara; violinist Aleksey Semenenko; cellists Sol Gabetta and Edgar Moreau; and pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Inon Barnatan, Bertrand Chamayou, Lucas Debargue, George Li, and Alexei Lubimov. A number of vocal debuts will take place including sopranos Eleanor Dennis, Joyce DiDonato, Hélène Guilmette, Audrey Luna, Julie Pasturaud, Erin Wall, Mary Elizabeth Williams and Agata Zubel; mezzo-sopranos Karine Deshayes, Rowan Hellier and Rinat Shaham; alto Helen Charlston; contralto Yvonne Naef; countertenor Reginald Mobley; tenors Gwilym Bowen, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and Robert Murray; baritones Pierrick Boisseau, Robert Davies and David Soar; and bass Jonathan Lemalu.

In addition to presenting a full schedule of performances, the Seattle Symphony is deeply committed to creating meaningful community partnerships and education programs. The orchestra’s extensive education and community initiatives reach more than 65,000 people each year through a variety of programs tailored to meet the needs of various audiences, schools and communities. Link Up, a music education program that originated from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute, is a highly participatory multi-year music curriculum for 3rd to 5th graders. In the 2015-2016 season, it will serve more than 10,000 students in grades 3 to 5 from nearly 100 schools in 30 districts. Over the course of each year’s program, students learn to sing and play orchestral repertoire while focusing on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration and composition. Schools have the opportunity to further explore the Link Up curriculum through additional activities and instruction in partnership with a Seattle Symphony teaching artist through a five or ten week residency, offered at minimal cost to all participating schools.

The Symphony’s Community Connections program for nonprofit organizations allows marginalized communities to attend Symphony performances for free, attend pre-concert workshops and participate in in-depth creative projects. Part of the Seattle Symphony’s commitment to expand relations with its community, it currently involves more than 50 local nonprofits and works with youth, cultural and social service groups for customized pre-concert events, music-making workshops, creative projects and community concerts. Examples include the Lullaby Project for mothers experiencing homelessness, and prison visits by Symphony musicians and teaching artists. In addition, the Symphony continues its commitment to nurturing young musicians in the community and presents numerous Side-by-Side Concerts with local high school and youth orchestras. 

The Masterworks Season encompasses the Symphony’s core programming of symphonic repertoire. Additional subscription series include Distinguished Artists, Baroque & Wine, Untuxed, [untitled], Fluke/Gabelein Organ Recital, Chamber, Seattle Pops, Classical KING FM Family Concerts and Tiny Tots. Two popular subscription series are being expanded in the 2016–2017 season. These include the Masterworks Season Sunday matinee series is increasing from 7 concerts to 8 concerts, and the Seattle Pops series is increasing from a 5-concert package to a 6-concert package. Non-subscription performances may be added to subscription orders now, and will go on sale to the general public on August 6.

Additional season documents:






About Ludovic Morlot

The French conductor Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of the Seattle Symphony.  During the 2015–2016 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to “listen boldly,” presenting 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; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4; Mahler’s Symphony No. 1; and Fauré’s Requiem.

Ludovic Morlot was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012–14). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande.

During the 2015–2016 season Morlot will return to the New York and LA Philharmonic Orchestras as well as NSO Washington. He also has a close relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he will also conduct a subscription week. Morlot has also conducted the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

In Europe, Morlot will this season make his debut with the Geneva Camerata and will also return to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle, and Budapest Festival Orchestra. Morlot served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002–04). 

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 in Seattle.

Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

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.

About Benaroya Hall

Benaroya Hall is the home of the Seattle Symphony and venue of choice for many local arts organizations. It is located on an entire city block in downtown Seattle and is surrounded by numerous restaurants, retail stores and parking facilities. The Hall has two performance spaces — the 2,500-seat S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and the 540-seat Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall — and a 430-stall underground parking garage. Over 450,000 people participate in public and private events annually, making Benaroya Hall the most-visited performing arts venue in Seattle. Benaroya Hall has received numerous awards, including a 2001 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award for outstanding architecture. Launched in 2012, Live @ Benaroya Hall presents a diverse lineup of jazz, rock, blues, country, pop, alternative and world music concerts. For tickets, additional information, including event listings, rental information and public tour schedules, please visit and click on Benaroya Hall.

Major corporate, foundation, and government support for the Seattle Symphony is provided by 4Culture, ArtsFund, The Boeing Company, Classical KING FM 98.1, the Clowes Fund, Delta Air Lines, John Graham Foundation, MCM, Microsoft, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and The Wallace Foundation

The performances of Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges are sponsored by the Nesholm Family Foundation.


The commission by Gabriel Prokofiev is generously supported by Norman Sandler and Dale Chihuly.


The commission by Aaron Jay Kernis is generously supported by Patricia Tall-Takacs and Gary Takacs.


The [untitled] 3 performance is generously sponsored by the Bagley and Virginia Wright Foundation.


Artists generously supported through the Seattle Symphony’s Guest Artists Circle:

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic underwritten by Martin Selig and Catherine Mayer

Stephen Hough underwritten by Paul Leach and Susan Winokur

Pekka Kuusisto underwritten by the Hot Chocolate Fund

Alexander Melnikov underwritten by Elwood and Ilene Hertzog

Xavier Phillips underwritten by Sheila B. Noonan and Peter M. Hartley

The Seattle Symphony thanks its entire family of sponsors and donors, whose gifts help make each and every performance a reality.

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