BMI has begun their annual Film Conducting Workshop in Los Angeles, it was announced recently by Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President, Film/TV Relations. "Conducting for the Film/TV Composer" is a four week course taught by conductor and composer Lucas Richman.
The workshop is designed for BMI composers who are looking to refine their conducting skills. The annual class is free but is limited to ten students who are BMI-affiliated professional film and television composers. This year's students are Nathan Barr (Beyond the Mat, From Dusk Til Dawn II), Julie Bernstein (Animaniacs, Hysteria!), Steve Bernstein (Animaniacs, Hysteria!), Ben Decter (Martial Law, Silk Stalkings), Peter Golub (US Seals), Don Grady (The Magnificent Seven - series, Donahue), Danny Pelfrey (Felicity), Carlos Rodriguez (Adventures of Batman and Robin), Bennett Salvay (Full House, Family Matters) and John Van Tongeren (Outer Limits, Poltergeist - series).
The course will focus on developing conducting technique and participants will be working with top session players ranging from piano duet to a full chamber orchestra. Curriculum will include conducting free form as well as to click track, both with and without picture. Each session will be videotaped and critiqued.
The brainchild of Ringer Ross and Richman, this is the program's third year, with 1998 marking it's debut. "The success of this program has exceeded our expectations," said Ringer Ross. "Conducting is an art that takes years of study to try and perfect. BMI is always striving to contribute to the career development of its writers, and we've designed this program in an attempt to do that. Lucas is the perfect person to teach this course because of his knowledge, his personality, and stellar reputation in the field."
Richman has gained prominence as a conductor and composer of music ranging from classical concert music and opera to musical theatre and film. He is presently Assistant Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor for the Emmy-nominated Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of BMI's Earle Hagen Film Scoring Workshop, he has worked with many film composers as their conductor on such films as the Academy Award-nominated As Good As It Gets, Face/Off, Seven, Breakdown and Anastasia. Richman was Principal Conductor for the Pasadena POPS Orchestra from 1997 to 1999 and served as the Pacific Symphony Orchestra's Assistant Conductor from 1988 to 1991. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Spokane, San Antonio, Colorado Springs and New Haven, as well as Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra. As a composer he has developed an impressive and diverse catalog which has been performed by over 50 orchestras in the United States. He is currently completing his second commission for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, "I Remember A Lullaby," which will receive its world premier in March, 2001.
Richman adds, "This class is meant to help the composer establish the marriage between the creative and performance aspects of their work. With the increase in popularity of Pops concerts series, Composers are increasingly being asked to conduct their works in public. While we've increased our audience, we've realized that conducting has become a lost art form for many composers. With an industry focused heavily on creative and production skills, the refinement and training of performance skills has been overlooked. Through this course I'm hoping to merge all three so that these composers walk away with a more fully rounded repertoire of skills."
A limited amount of class auditors will be welcomed on an advanced approval basis. Requests for auditors should be emailed to Doreen Ringer Ross.