Ludovic Morlot takes over as Music Director of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in September 2022, conducting a minimum of 11 weeks a season with the orchestra.
Morlot’s élan, elegance and intensity on stage have endeared him to audiences and orchestras worldwide, from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Boston Symphony. During his 8 years as Music Director of the Seattle Symphony he pushed the boundaries of traditional concert programming, winning several Grammys.
He is now Conductor Emeritus in Seattle, and in 2019 he was appointed Associate Artist of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he has had a close relationship over many years; he returns to both orchestras every season. He was Artistic Director and a founding member of the National Youth Orchestra of China 2017-2021, conducting their inaugural concerts at Carnegie Hall and in China in 2017, and touring with them to Europe in 2019. From 2012-2014 he was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie, conducting new productions in Brussels and at the Aix Easter Festival - including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande.
Morlot has conducted the Berliner Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic and Budapest Festival orchestras, and many of the leading North American orchestras, notably the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Morlot has a particularly strong connection with Boston, having been the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor at Tanglewood and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the Boston Symphony. Since then he has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America. He has also appeared extensively in Asia and Australasia, notably with the Seoul Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Festival appearances have included the BBC Proms, Wien Modern, Edinburgh, and Aspen festivals.
His tenure in Seattle formed a hugely significant period in the musical journey of the orchestra. His innovative programming encompassed not only his choice of repertoire, but theatrical productions and performances outside the traditional concert hall space. There were numerous collaborations with musicians from different genres, commissions and world premieres. Some of these projects, including John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean, Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto performed by James Ehnes and an exploration of Dutilleux’s music, have earned the orchestra five Grammy Awards, as well as the distinction of being named Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year. Morlot has released 19 recordings with the Seattle Symphony Media label which was launched in 2014.
Morlot opened last season with a concertante performance of Die Walküre at Seattle Opera, invited back for Samson et Dalila in January 2023 and for a fully-staged Rheingold in August 2023. In recent months he has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah and Sao Paulo symphonies. Guesting in Europe included the Netherlands Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Bergen Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orquesta Castilla y Leon and of course Barcelona Symphony. He has a strong commitment to supporting emerging talent and regularly conducts students at the Colburn Conservatory. In 2021 he sat on the jury of the Leeds International Piano Competition and conducted students at the Royal Academy (London), New England Conservatory (Boston) and made his annual visit to the Aspen Festival.
Trained as a violinist, he studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School (USA) with Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo. He continued his education in London at the Royal Academy and then at the Royal College as recipient of the Norman del Mar Conducting Fellowship. Ludovic is Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle and a Visiting Artist at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music.
De Volkskrant, 5 stars, February 2020
"Under Morlot, the [Netherlands] Radio Philharmonic combined thrust with wonderful fusions and once again showed convincingly what a great orchestra it is."
San Francisco Classical Voice, September 2019
"Morlot gave a bright and athletic account and did well to highlight Stravinsky’s exploration of colour … Morlot’s aptitude for rhythmic nuance and slight tempo variations yielded a performance that felt both in-control and spontaneous"