Best Arts Newcomer

Ludovic Morlot

New Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot has turned out to be just what everyone was hoping for to take the organization beyond the Gerard Schwarz era, bringing a boyish, energetic podium manner, a sprucing-up of the orchestra's sound, and forward-looking, buzzworthy programming. In his debut season, music by composers as diverse as Beethoven, Gershwin, and Varèse combusted under his direction, and his vision for next season—a 10 p.m. new-music concert series, a few premieres, and big-event pieces by Messiaen and Britten—makes it the most mouthwatering in memory. GAVIN BORCHERT Benaroya Hall, Third Avenue and Union Street,

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