Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet Begins Year-long Appointment as Artist in Residence with Performance on Opening Night Concert
Winner of the First-ever Seattle Symphony Piano Competition to Perform
Gala Evening Honors Longtime Seattle Symphony Supporter and Philanthropist Ann P. Wyckoff
Season Launch Highlighted by Sold-out Post-concert Gala at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Seattle, WA – Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony launch a thrilling 2015–2016 season on September 19 with an Opening Night Concert and Gala of American classics and French masterworks. Inaugurating a season that celebrates the commitment of those who empower and nurture aspiring young musicians, the concert will feature a special performance by the winner of the first-ever Seattle Symphony Piano Competition, which concludes on the previous evening. Leonard Bernstein’s curtain-raising Overture to Wonderful Town will begin the evening, and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, composed for celebrated American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, will bring the first half of the concert to close. The second half of the concert opens with Camille Saint-Saëns’ extravagant Bacchanale from his opera Samson et Dalila, followed by the composer’s exotic final Piano Concerto No. 5, “Egyptian”, featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as he begins his year-long role as Artist in Residence, where he will perform on various concert programs throughout the season as well as lead several public master classes. The Opening Night Concert will be broadcast live on Classical KING FM 98.1.
The 2015–2016 Opening Night Gala, co-chaired by Seattle Symphony board members Renée Brisbois and Nader Kabbani, and community leader Betty Tong, will honor longtime Seattle Symphony supporter and philanthropist Ann P. Wyckoff. The evening’s Presenting Sponsor is Laird Norton Wealth Management.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, considered one of the best pianists in the world, has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities with dazzling technical prowess. His talent at coaxing subtle and surprising colors and textures from even old favorites led The New York Times to exclaim “…every note he fashions is a pearl…the joy, brilliance and musicality of his performance could not be missed.” Thibaudet, who has performed around the world for more than 30 years and recorded more than 50 albums, has a depth and natural charisma that have made him one of the most sought-after soloists by today’s foremost orchestras, conductors, and festivals. In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame.
His recordings have been nominated for two Grammy Awards and won many prizes, including the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two ECHO Awards, and the Edison Prize. In 2010 Thibaudet released his latest CD, Gershwin, featuring big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, Variations on “I Got Rhythm,” and Concerto in F live with the Baltimore Symphony and its music director, Marin Alsop. Thibaudet was the soloist on the Oscar- and Golden GlobeAward-winning soundtrack to Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice. In 2012 Thibaudet recorded the soundtrack of the film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, composed by Alexandre Desplat. Known for his style and elegance, Thibaudet wears a concert wardrobe designed by Vivienne Westwood. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.
French conductor Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of the Seattle Symphony. During the 2015-2016 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will present a wide variety of works in concert and release several more recordings on the Orchestra's label, Seattle Symphony Media. He was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012-2014). During this time he conducted several new productions and concert performances.
During the 2015-2016 season Morlot will return to the LA Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has also conducted in Cleveland and Philadelphia and has particularly close relationships with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. 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. He has also conducted the Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Staatskapelle Dresden.
Morlot studied conducting in London and 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's School of Music in Seattle.
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 was founded in 1903 and is heard live from September through July by more than 300,000 people. 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 100,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season, including John Luther Adams' recent Become Ocean, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The orchestra has made more than 150 recordings and has received 12 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.
Tickets start at $57 and 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 new iPhone and Android apps by searching “Seattle Symphony” or “Listen Boldly” at Apple's App Store or Android's App Store.
Saturday, September 19, 2015, at 7pm
Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s performance is generously underwritten by Jean-François and Catherine Heitz through the Seattle Symphony’s Guest Artists Circle.