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…)