Reports of Ludovic Morlot's first concerts with the Seattle Symphony suggest not only that he's off to a strong start musically but that he has begun to reshape the orchestra's image with the wider Seattle public. Belying his sober reputation, Morlot surprised and charmed the crowd at his gala debut with a bit of theatrics during Ravel's Boléro, leaving the podium for a few iterations of the theme and joining the violin section. More important, he's been making an insistent case for his modern-leaning programming, in line with the crisp new house slogan, "Listen boldly." (In a piece for the Guardian last year, I commented that no major orchestra seemed prepared to advertise itself as the Museum of Modern Art does, as "radical," "provocative," or "bold"; I'm happy to see that the Seattle Symphony has become an exception.) Bernard Jacobson wrote up the gala for the Seattle Times and then praised a sizzling-sounding program of Stravinsky's Rite, Gershwin's American in Paris, and Varèse's Amériques. Gavin Borchert of the Seattle Weekly, while distinctly unenthusiastic about the choice of Friedrich Gulda's Cello Concerto for the gala, said that the orchestra sounds "as good as I've ever heard them." David Mermelstein covered Morlot's debut for the Wall Street Journal, and Thomas May has a long report in Crosscut. Of particular note is the reaction of Jen Graves of The Stranger, the hugely influential alternative weekly. "The whole symphony is being revitalized," she says. This is all good to hear.