Steven Winn examines Ludovic Morlot’s new vision for the Seattle Symphony.
Ludovic Morlot, the ebullient new 38-year-old music director of the Seattle Symphony, is making waves in his city, creating fresh pathways of connection between the orchestra and its community. According to a recent admiring piece in the New York Times, Morlot hopes to make the Symphony “central to Seattle’s cultural scene, open-minded and with a taste for collaboration and experimentation.” Plans for the 2012-13 season include a series of 10 p.m. Friday new-music concerts (open-endedly dubbed [untitled]) in the lobby of the orchestra’s Benaroya Hall home, with drinking and mingling encouraged; the premiere of John Luther Adams’ ambitious “Become Ocean,” an especially apt fit for this water-oriented place; and a collaboration with the Intiman Theater, one of the leading lights of a theater-rich town. The season announcement came at City Hall, after a free concert attended by Mayor Mike McGinn and lots of children.
In another news story, Morlot expressed his enthusiasm for the orchestra’s Symphony Untuxed concerts. As he told the Seattle Times, “We want to be very casual and invite everyone to come as they are.” That may be especially important in this city, where Northface jackets and REI hiking boots are for many a standard dress code. Morlot is taking care to take a full measure of his new city. He threw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners baseball game. (more…)
Topic: Audience, Community | Tags: ludovic morlot, seattle symphony
February 1, 2012 by Beth Hondl | Comments (0)
What follows is a live blog from our chat with leaders from the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, December 7, 2011. Participants included:
Mark Volpe, Managing Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Fogg, Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
James Sommerville, Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada
Ludovic Morlot, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony and former Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
John Harbison, composer and chair of the composition program at the Tanglewood Music Center
Topic: Audience, Community, Creativity | Tags: anthony fogg, boston symphony orchestra, james sommerville, john harbison, live blog, ludovic morlot, mark volpe, steven winn
December 7, 2011 by Beth Hondl | Comments (0)
Next week, we’ll be sitting down with Ludovic Morlot and leaders of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) to discuss Community, Creativity and Audience—the three big topics we’re exploring here at the American Orchestra Forum. Morlot is leading the BSO this month in concerts on the West coast and is also Music Director of the Seattle Symphony.
This recent Boston Globe piece by David Weininger serves as a good introduction to his approach:
The idea of civic engagement is popular these days, and many conductors give it lip service without much real substance. Morlot, though, has done more than talk; he has put energy and ideas behind his words. He has conducted not only gala and subscription programs but also family concerts. The Seattle Symphony has instituted a program offering two free tickets for children between the ages of 8 and 18 to any adult who buys a ticket to a subscription concert. There is a post-prison education program as well. Morlot even threw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game in August. (“I did pretty good, actually. I had a 20-minute training session the day before, on the hill.’’)
He is especially proud of a project called “Sonic Evolution,’’ for which the orchestra commissioned three composers to write new pieces, each inspired by a legendary Seattle musician: Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, and Kurt Cobain. The undertaking “is destined to be addressing an audience that might be intimidated by the classical music genre and repertoire,’’ Morlot explains. “But still, I think everybody deserves to have that first contact with live symphony music. So I’m trying to be creative with my team – to be as versatile, as flexible as possible – as diverse in what the offering is, so that the audience can be versatile and diverse as well.’’ Read the full article.
While the event next week isn’t open to the public, we hope you’ll join us here at symphonyforum.org to follow our live blog. We’ll also be posting podcasts developed from the discussion later this month. If you have a question for the BSO, we’d love to hear it! You can leave a comment below or email us.
Learn more about the Dec 7 roundtable discussion with the BSO.
Topic: Audience, Community, Creativity | Tags: diversity, ludovic morlot, speaker spotlight
November 30, 2011 by Beth Hondl | Comments (0)