Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot Debuts with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra Jan 31 and Feb 1
Performances in Philadelphia (Kimmel Center January 31) and New York (Carnegie Hall February 1)
Program inspired by the Darmstadt School of avant-garde composers features Berio’s Sinfonia with members of the Curtis Opera Theatre, also includes Mahler’s First Symphony and Busoni’s Berceuse élégiaque
PHILADELPHIA, PA—January 20, 2016—Praised for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra brings a bold program of groundbreaking works to the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall under the baton of Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot. The Philadelphia performance takes place on Sunday, January 31 at 3 p.m. in Verizon Hall, with the New York performance following on February 1 at 8 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
Ludovic Morlot has been praised as “an inspiring conductor” (New York Times) who elicits “meticulously crafted music that delights the ear” (Chicago Tribune) from his ensembles. Since assuming the position of music director of the Seattle Symphony in 2010, Mr. Morlot has brought the orchestra to new heights and championed numerous soloists and new works, including the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean by John Luther Adams.
Mr. Morlot leads the orchestra in a program influenced by Curtis’s 2015–16 All-School Project focused on the Darmstadt school of avant-garde composers. The dizzying collage of sounds and styles in Berio’s Sinfonia pays homage to Mahler and other musical masters, performed with singers from the Curtis Opera Theatre. Curtis conducting fellow Conner Gray Covington leads Busoni’s solemn Berceuse élégiaque, and Mahler’s First Symphony (“Titan”) led by Mr. Morlot provides a heroic conclusion.
This is one of many performances throughout the year to explore the music of Darmstadt and the works that influenced and grew out of this critical time of experimentation and discovery. As the world was reeling from the effects of the Second World War, the Darmstadt school of composers embraced abstraction, revolution, and counter-cultural rebellion. Through performances, classroom studies, and touring in the 2015–16 season, Curtis explores the history, politics, and artistic concepts that shaped the music of this turbulent era, described so poignantly by W.H. Auden as “The Age of Anxiety.”
Tickets for the Philadelphia performance are $5 to $50 and are available at the Kimmel Center Box Office at kimmelcenter.org or (215) 893-1999. Tickets for the New York performance are $25 and are available from Carnegie Hall at www.carnegiehall.org, from CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, or in person at the box office at 57th and Seventh.
The Carnegie Hall performance is sponsored by BNP Paribas, a European bank with a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees.
French conductor Ludovic Morlot is in his fifth season as music director of the Seattle Symphony. Other orchestral engagements this season include the New York and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Mr. Morlot also has a strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra that began in 2001 when he was the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor at the Tanglewood Music Center and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra. He has also conducted the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
In Europe, Mr. Morlot returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra this season. He has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Budapest Festival, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Orchestre National de France, Royal Concertgebouw, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He was chief conductor of La Monnaie in Brussels, one of Europe’s most prestigious opera houses, from 2012 to 2014.
Trained as a violinist, Mr. Morlot studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. He is chair of orchestral conducting studies at the University of Washington School Of Music.
Conner Gray Covington, from Maryville, Tenn., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2015. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Covington is the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow. Mr. Covington recently completed his tenure as assistant conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. He has also served as assistant conductor of the Memphis Symphony Chorus, guest conductor for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and cover conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has competed in the Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, where he was the youngest participant to advance to the third round; and the Tokyo International Conducting Competition.
Mr. Covington holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Texas–Arlington, where he studied with Clifton Evans; and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Neil Varon. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, the Salzburg Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.
Among his many honors and awards are an Ansbacher Fellowship for young conductors from the American-Austrian Foundation; a study scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service; and the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize from the Eastman School of Music.
The Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been called “an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Recent visiting conductors include Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Osmo Vänskä, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Curtis’s mentor conductor for the Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowship Program. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.
Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.
The extraordinary young musicians of Curtis graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Each season leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni. They are in the front rank of soloists, composers, and conductors and hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra. Curtis graduates are musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit www.curtis.edu.
Ludovic Morlot with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concerts
BUSONI Berceuse élégiaque
Conner Gray Covington, conductor
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Members of the Curtis Opera Theatre
Emily Pogorelc, soprano
Alize Rozsnyai, soprano
Anastasiia Sidorova, mezzo-soprano
Kendra Broom, mezzo-soprano
Jean-Michael Richer, tenor
Evan LeRoy Johnson, tenor
Dennis Chemlensky, baritone
Johnathan McCullough, baritone
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 (“Titan”)
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
PHILADELPHIA: Sunday, January 31 at 3 p.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia
Tickets: $5, $10, $25, $35, $50; available from the Kimmel Center Box Office at (215) 893-1999 or kimmelcenter.org
NEW YORK: Monday, February 1 at 8 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, New York
Tickets: $25; available from Carnegie Hall at www.carnegiehall.org, from Carnegie Charge at
(212) 247-7800, or in person at the box office at 57th and Seventh.
This performance is sponsored by BNP Paribas, a European bank with a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees.
Managing Director of External Affairs and Patron Engagement