• Born 1973
Conductor Ludovic Morlot has a wide repertory but has specialized in 20th century music to a degree unusual among conductors of major symphony orchestras. He is also a noted educator.
Morlot was born in Lyon, France, on December 11, 1973. He took violin lessons as a youth and entered the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of that instrument. During his program there, he switched to conducting. He enrolled for further studies in the field at London's Royal College of Music. In London, Morlot's teachers included Colin Davis, George Hurst, and Colin Metters. He traveled to the U.S. for studies at two prestigious summer conducting programs, those at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine and the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. Back in France, Morlot landed a post as conductor-in-residence at the Orchestre National de Lyon, where he conducted the organization's two youth orchestras. He returned to the U.S. as the assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony and has remained partly or completely based in the U.S ever since: he became the conductor of the Seattle Symphony in 2011, also serving as the chief conductor of the opera house La Monnaie in Brussels from 2011 to 2015. During his tenure in Seattle, the Seattle Symphony was named Gramophone magazine's Orchestra of the Year in 2018. In 2019, Morlot stepped down from his Seattle post but has remained associated with the orchestra as conductor emeritus. In 2020, he was appointed artistic director of the National Youth Orchestra of China. Morlot has guest conducted a wide variety of the world's top orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, and Dresden Staatskapelle.
Morlot made 19 recordings with the Seattle Symphony on the orchestra's label, focusing on 20th century music but also issuing recordings of music by Berlioz and Dvořák. In 2020, he and the orchestra moved to the Cantaloupe Music label, releasing an album of music by John Luther Adams. In 2013, Morlot was named chair of orchestral conducting studies at the University of Washington. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music the following year.