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Aleix Palau | 19 January 2022

Ludovic Morlot: “I want everyone to feel proud of what we do at the OBC”‎

The OBC’s new principal conductor talked to the media about his vision and goals for the ‎orchestra. ‎
This weekend he will conduct his first programme since his appointment, with works by Bach, ‎Betsy Jolas, Schumann, Carter and Mahler, and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard.‎

Ludovic Morlot: “I want everyone to feel proud of what we do at the OBC”‎

Ludovic Morlot, who will be Barcelona Symphony Orchestra’s new principal ‎conductor from next season, returns this weekend to conduct a ‎programme entitled What Love Tells Me, with works by Bach, ‎Betsy Jolas (Spanish premiere), Schumann, Carter and Mahler, and ‎pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard as guest soloist.‎

On his return to L’Auditori, the French conductor noted that “the OBC is a fantastic ‎instrument, of very high quality where I am looking forward to exchanging ideas ‎with the musicians.”‎

Morlot was chosen to head the OBC at the end of a three-year long ‎search, with the aim of giving a clear boost to the future artistic direction of the ‎OBC and L’Auditori. The decision was the culmination of intense work by L’Auditori’s ‎artistic direction with the support and involvement of the orchestra ‎members. ‎

Morlot has made it clear that he wants to work to ensure that “we can all feel proud ‎of what we do at the OBC and L’Auditori, and this includes the members of the ‎orchestra, its audiences and the city. Barcelona is a cultural magnet of worldwide renown and ‎a place that inspires.”‎

The Director of L’Auditori, Robert Brufau, said that “with Ludovic Morlot at ‎its helm, the OBC is well positioned internationally to play its part in maintaining the ‎profile of symphonic music in the 21st century. Morlot has shown he can push top ‎orchestras to grow artistically, and under his leadership they have achieved great things. ‎Modernity and rigour are in his DNA as an artist and this is evident in everything he does, ‎from management to staging, with complete awareness of the challenges of today's society.”‎

Ludovic Morlot’s ambitious plans for this new stage include increasing the ‎orchestra’s online presence, producing recordings, international residencies, programmes for ‎developing talent and helping the orchestra to grow, and bringing new talent into the OBC ‎family. ‎

‎“To engage with families and attract a wider audience, I want to explore different ‎types of format and find alternative ways to present classical music. It is important ‎to build our plans from within whilst taking the community into account, as well as fostering ‎and creating close links with local talent. I also want to bring in new voices and artists.”‎

He is keen, therefore, to spotlight “local musicians and composers, and to research the ‎Catalan musical repertoire, focusing more on raising the OBC’s local profile and ‎working for the community than on international fame”, which, he notes, “should ‎not be our aim, but a natural outcome of the work we do”.‎

The OBC’s new conductor also highlighted the importance of increasing L’Auditori’s online ‎presence through the L’Auditori Digital platform and its record label, which “open ‎the door to new audiences and are a great way to publicise lesser known musical ‎works”. ‎

With regard to the repertoire he will programme with the OBC, Morlot said, “I have lots of ‎ideas, but first I want to listen to the organisation to find out first-hand what ‎L’Auditori and the OBC need. I like the idea of working with themed programmes, ‎as I think they attract the attention of audiences and give them a focus for thinking about and ‎connecting with the music.”‎

Ludovic Morlot’s energy, elegance and intensity have delighted audiences and orchestras ‎around the world, from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Boston Symphony ‎Orchestra. Born in Lyon, France (1973), Morlot is currently Conductor ‎Emeritus of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, an honorary title conferred on him ‎for the extraordinary work he did during his eight years as its principal conductor. ‎

During his time in Seattle, he introduced innovative programming and the orchestra ‎produced some twenty recordings, receiving five Grammy Awards. Under ‎his baton, the orchestra commissioned major works such as Become Ocean by ‎John Luther Adams, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music, and the Seattle ‎Symphony was named 2018 Orchestra of the Year at the Gramophone Classical ‎Music Awards.‎

Since 2019, Morlot has also been an Associate Artist with the BBC Philharmonic ‎Orchestra, with which he has maintained a close relationship for many years.‎

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