Ludovic Morlot Invites Community to Celebration of American Music

With all seats just $25, the Seattle Symphony is throwing open its doors to the community for a two-week celebration of American musical creativity.

“There are as many sides to American music as there are to the American people — our great, varied, many-sided democracy. Maybe that's the main quality of all — our many-sidedness.”

 — Leonard Bernstein

American music today is vastly more diverse, eclectic and many-layered than even Leonard Bernstein might have imagined 50 years ago. Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will survey a portion of this rich tapestry of music as part of Tuning Up!, the Symphony’s summer music festival. With a tremendous breadth of music over nine concerts, Morlot and the orchestra will explore everything from avant-garde to minimalism, jazz to Broadway, classics to Hollywood.

“The last 100 years of American musical creativity has produced an incredible sonic landscape that I can’t wait to explore with our audiences,” said Morlot. “We’re going to delve into music that we believe is surprising, stimulating and uplifting.”

Seattle Symphony President & CEO Simon Woods commented, “We make no pretense of this being a definitive survey of American music — it’s more a personal collection of ideas brought together by Ludovic Morlot under one umbrella to stimulate discussion and inspiration.”

It’s all part of Morlot’s philosophy of making symphonic music accessible to more people. Local philanthropic support through the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund has allowed the Symphony to offer low, affordable ticket prices to the community. Tickets to the concerts at Benaroya Hall are offered at a flat rate of just $25, allowing Morlot and potential concertgoers to explore adventuresome programming together.

“I was able to program some things and trace some threads that I could not otherwise have done in the context of a regular subscription series,” Morlot told Rhapsody in a recent interview. “The fact we make it so available and affordable will inspire people to be curious, I hope.”

In addition to programming a breathtaking array of styles and traditions, Morlot says he is looking forward to pushing artistic boundaries with a series of collaborations with dancers Evelyn Kocak and Matthew Prescott on Copland’s Appalachian Spring and lighting designer Jeff Lincoln in a concert featuring music from composers John Luther Adams, Julia Wolfe, Philip Glass and more.

“Thanks to the great generosity of our board member, Judith Fong, we are able to bring it to the public at incredibly accessible pricing and invite the widest possible audience into Benaroya Hall,” commented Woods. “It’s quite unlike anything else we’ve done, and we’re excited to share it with the community!”

Tickets for all Tuning Up! Festival concerts at Benaroya Hall are $25 each, with the exception of the [untitled] concert on July 1, which is $15. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at 206.215.4747 or 866.833.4747.

Posted on June 16, 2016