BMI Kicks Off 6th Annual Conducting Workshop

Posted in News on July 15, 2003
The BMI Conducting Workshop kicked off its sixth year on July 7. "Conducting for the Film Composer," a two-week course taught by conductor and composer Lucas Richman, is being taught at two Los Angeles locations this year: the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 and Bovard Auditorium at USC.  

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 eight students who are BMI-affiliated professional film and television composers. This year's students are composers Rolfe Kent (Legally Blonde 2, About Schmidt, Nurse Betty); Gary Kuo (Daytime Emmy winner - All My Children, As The World Turns, General Hospital); Sujin Nam (Shanghai Ghetto, Menace); Ryan Beveridge (Taboo, Brutally Normal); Billy White Acre (Love and Sex); Doug De Angelis (Robbery Homicide Division, Ed McMahon's Next Big Star); Brian King (Director, USC Film Scoring School) and Michael Wandmacher (From Justin To Kelly, Drunken Master 2, Max Keeble's Big Move).

The course focuses on developing conducting technique and participants work with live players ranging from piano duet to a full chamber orchestra. Curriculum includes conducting free form as well as to click track, both with and without picture. The musical repertoire for the workshop ranges from classical selections to music from commercial films. Each session will be videotaped and critiqued.

The brainchild of Richman and BMI Vice President of Film/TV Relations Doreen Ringer Ross, past participants include composers Cliff Martinez, Stewart Copeland, Danny Pelfrey, Bennett Salvay, Julie and Steve Bernstein, Anthony Marinelli, Alex Wurman, Pete Scaturro and Laura Karpman. "Lucas is the perfect person to teach this workshop because of his knowledge and stellar reputation in the field and his brilliance as a teacher," said Ringer Ross about the workshop. "BMI is proud to offer this opportunity to our composers to work with him as well as some of the top musicians in the world."

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 Music Director and Conductor for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Resident Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He served as the Pittsburgh Symphony's Assistant Conductor from 1998-2002, during which time he was also a Cover Conductor for the New York Philharmonic. From 1988 to 1991, he was the Assistant Conductor for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Richman has appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras throughout the United States including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony and New Haven Symphony; in Canada with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and in Germany with the SWR Radio Orchestra of Kaiserslautern. As a composer, Richman has had his music performed by over 100 orchestras across the United States in the last five years alone. The Pittsburgh Symphony most recently premiered his one-act musical, A Christmas Wish, with the participation of the Mendelssohn Choir, the Children's Festival Chorus and the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet.

In 2002-2003 Richman made his conducting debuts with the New York Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Knoxville, and Wheeling. He has received numerous awards including the Geraldine C. & Emory M. Ford Award Guest Conductor, Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation Conduct and the Dramalogue Award for his musical direction of the revival of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, directed by Gordon Davidson at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre. In recent years, he collaborated with numerous film composers as their conductor, recording scores for such films as the Academy Award-nominated As Good As It Gets, Face/Off, Seven, Breakdownand Anastasia. He received a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the University of Southern California, where he was a student of Daniel Lewis. He studied privately with Fritz Zweig and Victor Yampolsky, and worked with Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. He was also selected as a conducting fellow in master classes with Pierre Boulez, Andr� Previn, Herbert Blomstedt and Kurt Sanderling.