Seattle Symphony’s Ludovic Morlot, mixing up old and new rep

Posted on: June 17, 2016

“ ‘Tuning Up!’ the two-week, nine-concert series of modern American music that kicks off Friday, June 17, illustrates Seattle Symphony maestro Ludovic Morlot’s philosophy of making music accessible to everyone,” writes Paul de Barros in Thursday’s (6/16) Seattle Times. Composers featured during the festival include John Adams, John Luther Adams, Derek Bermel, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Duke Ellington, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, Philip Glass, Marvin Hamlisch, Charles Ives, and Edgard Varèse. Says Morlot, “If you think what ‘classical music’ or opera was in the 18th and 19th century, it was the pop music of that time. Ragtime at the turn of the 20th century was what hip-hop is today.” In the 19th century, says Morlot, “The concept would be: new piece, new piece, new piece, new piece, then a concerto or the songs of someone who was popular at the time—Chopin, say.” For Morlot, “The greatest music ever written will always be Beethoven’s music.” But, he adds, “The American sound for orchestra is music that deals with the elements of ragtime, rhythm, dance and syncopation.” Morlot “purposefully programmed” Cage’s 4’33” right after Julia Wolfe’s My Beautiful Scream. Says Morlot, “I want ‘4’33 Cage’ to be that kind of minute of silence that one will need after that scream.”

Posted June 17, 2016

Ludovic Morlot photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times