Ludovic Morlot will be Seattle Symphony’s next music director, beginning in the 2011–2012 season. I was one of the lucky ones to see him conduct a few months ago at Benaroya Hall.
His press release photos don’t really match his in-person appearance, so I did not recognize him at first. On July 9, the first public event welcoming Morlot was held in the Garden of Remembrance outside Benaroya Hall.
I remembered him as the substitute conductor of the Seattle Symphony’s 125-member performance of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. And I was ecstatic. At the time, I didn’t know he was being considered for the new music director’s job. I like his style of conducting and leadership — intense, poised, and effective. The performance was not about himself, but the orchestra and its music.
Last April was not the first time Morlot stepped in for another conductor. Travel disruptions caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland forced Morlot to miss two rehearsals and change the program on short notice. Under the challenging circumstances, he was able to deliver strong and exciting performances.
French-born, British-trained Morlot is only 36 years old. Yet, he has performed all over Europe and North America. ♦