A Bold New Season with Music Director Ludovic Morlot

Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco

The Seattle Symphony’s 2018–2019 season is a celebration of eight transformative years with Music Director Ludovic Morlot.

By Andrew Stiefel

Music Director Ludovic Morlot’s final season is filled with the music, composers and performers that have energized musicians and audiences alike during his tenure.

With his flair for intriguing pairings, Morlot returns to familiar classics during the 2018–2019 season — Brahms First Symphony, Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor — and continues his commitment to new and creative programming with several world premieres, including Grammy-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s new piano concerto.

But Morlot is most excited about continuing a journey through the French repertoire, and in particular the music of Claude Debussy.

“Although we’ve done a little bit of music by Debussy, I find that it needs to be done with a conductor and orchestra that have a long relationship,” explains Morlot. “Debussy has so many different layers. You need to have explored all those different layers completely before you put them all together.”

Could you share a little more about the music you are conducting next season?

I want to continue our exploration of French repertoire, and this season we will be playing several Debussy works, including the Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande. Our focus on French repertoire naturally continues into the music of my dear friend, Marc-André Dalbavie, and the premiere of a double concerto by Pascal Dusapin.

Which artists are you looking forward to welcoming to Seattle?

There are always so many! Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Augustin Hadelich, tenor Kenneth Tarver and pianist Jonathan Biss are all returning. And I love featuring our musicians as soloists. I am looking forward to doing Strauss’ Oboe Concerto with Principal Oboe Mary Lynch. Although I will not be conducting, Demarre McGill, David Gordon, Elisa Barston, and Jordan Anderson will all perform on our Baroque series next season.

And I’m happy to welcome Thomas Dausgaard back in his new position as our Music Director Designate. He’s bringing some wonderful Danish music to Seattle next season, including a new composer for us, Rued Langgaard. He will also be continuing his Nielsen cycle with the Second Symphony in April 2019.

You are conducting one of my favorite works, Bach’s B-minor Mass, next season. What makes it special to you?

Although most of his music was written for the church for religious occasions, he didn’t write the Mass in B minor for any particular occasion. It’s the only piece he wrote to leave a legacy behind. When I was thinking about my final season, and all the emotions involved, I wanted to include music about completing a journey, to summarize these eight years together with music.

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Posted on February 27, 2017

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