Ludovic Morlot Announces He Will Step Down as Music Director in 2019

Photo credit: Brandon Patoc

Morlot and the Seattle Symphony look forward to continuing their artistic collaboration with new projects through 2019 and beyond.

Music Director Ludovic Morlot announced today that he plans to step down when his contract ends in 2019, after eight seasons with the orchestra.

“We are in the midst of a wonderful, stimulating and exciting artistic journey and I look forward to continuing this in the next two seasons,” shared Morlot. “However, I feel that by 2019 the time will be right for me to explore new musical horizons and for the Symphony to benefit from the inspiration of new artistic leadership.”

Since 2011 Morlot has re-energized the organization with his thrilling performances, his innovative programming and his award-winning recordings, as well as his work with youth, families and the community. Under his leadership, the orchestra has received three Grammy Awards, rave reviews for its performances and has built a reputation for artistic courage.

“We can’t overstate the passion, excitement and inspiration that Ludovic has brought to Benaroya Hall and beyond since his arrival in 2011,” said Leslie Jackson Chihuly, Chair of the Seattle Symphony Board of Directors. “From day one, Ludovic embraced the vision of redefining the role of the 21st-century orchestra, and in doing so has created unforgettable performances and recordings.”

With the start of his tenure, Morlot set a new artistic course for the Seattle Symphony. Morlot’s bold programming ideas included the late-night [untitled] series for adventurous listeners, Sonic Evolution which celebrates the past, present and future of Seattle’s music scene and has paid tribute to legendary artists from rock to hip-hop, and important commissions such as John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean.

“From the first moment I met Ludo, just before I was appointed to my current position, I knew that here was a fine musician of immense intellectual caliber who was also looking for new ideas and new ways of thinking about an orchestra,” commented President & CEO Simon Woods. “I can’t thank him enough for his vision, and for his role in making the Seattle Symphony what it is today.”

David Sabee, Chair of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization, added, “Ludo has been an inspirational guide and an unflagging champion of the Seattle Symphony. We eagerly anticipate two more artistically exciting years with him.“

Morlot and the Seattle Symphony are committed to developing the thread of creative and exciting programming that has distinguished his tenure, and as such, Morlot will continue to conduct the orchestra regularly beyond summer 2019.

“I will be forever grateful and proud to have been given the opportunity to help write a chapter in the history of the Seattle Symphony,” says Morlot. “I’m looking forward to many exciting performances in the coming years and to returning as a guest conductor.”

Posted on April 21, 2017