music director

Ludovic Morlot

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Music Director of the Seattle Symphony Ludovic Morlot is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through his artistic lens.

Editor’s Note: Following eight years as Music Director, Ludovic Morlot is now Conductor Emeritus of the Seattle Symphony.

Q&A with Ludovic Morlot

What makes Seattle a unique city?

You can escape your own rhythm of work and the downtown so easily. Just jump on the ferry or drive half an hour and you find complete loneliness where your only companions are nature. That’s the most striking thing for me. To be able to embrace all those different landscapes but to still be able to be at the heart of the city is quite an individual feature of Seattle. Being able to drive two hours and be skiing with your kids, and to be able to be on Lake Union on a boat—those are outstanding things that I’ve never had anywhere else I’ve lived.

What are some activities you enjoy doing with your kids?

The art scene here is very welcoming of families. Kids can not only be entertained, but can learn a great deal about what art is about. The Seattle Children’s Theater is great, and we love Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera. I’d like to believe that Benaroya Hall [Ed: home of Seattle Symphony] is a great place for kids. I should also mention the stadiums. I’m a season ticket holder for the Sounders, I take my girls there every once in a while.

What has surprised you about Seattle?

So many things! The people, for one; their generosity and sense of curiosity and their will to embrace everything as an experiment is really exciting. And that tells a lot about what the music scene was like here in the 80’s. People haven’t changed a lot since then, they’re still very adventurous and curious, which is a noble quality for a community.

I wasn’t expecting to experience so many great places to eat. I’m discovering one place after another, which is really stunning! I live on Capitol Hill, and it’s great to be able to be in America and walk to the restaurants, which, as a European, was very important to me.

How does Seattle inspire your creative process?

Everything from the landscape to the people plays into it. When I decided to purchase a home here, it was a no-brainer that I needed to be able to see the water somewhere from my house. It ended up being from my office, which is a dream come true. I wasn’t born that far from Switzerland, and so the mountain  and water are just something I’ve always seen as the perfect environment in which to dream and be creative.



Interview by Jess Van Nostrand, 2012.

Photo taken at the Seattle Waterfront.



Ludovic Morlot leads the Seattle Symphony in his final encore as Music Director.


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