Composers Refine Skills at 7th Annual BMI Conducting Workshop

Posted in News on July 6, 2004
The BMI Conducting Workshop will kick off its seventh year on July 8. "Conducting for the Film Composer" is a two-week course taught by conductor and composer Lucas Richman and is coordinated by BMI's Director of Film/TV Relations Ray Yee. The class will be taught at the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 in Hollywood, Calif.

The Workshop is designed for BMI composers who wish to refine their conducting skills. The annual workshop is free and is limited to eight participants who are BMI-affiliated professional film and television composers. This year's students are composers Dominic Messinger (multiple Daytime Emmy winner for "All My Children," "Days of Our Lives," "As the World Turns"), Jennie Muskett ("The Prince and Me," "B Monkey"), Scooter Pietsch ("Extreme Makeover," "All American Girl," "Meet My Folks"), Penka Kouneva (Sundance Composers Lab Fellow, "The Picture of Dorian Gray," "Shadows"), Ronit Kirchman (Sundance Composers Lab Fellow), Chris Anderson-Bazzoli (Sundance Composers Lab Fellow, "Revolution OS," "Shooting Creek") and Charles Sydnor ("Malcolm in the Middle").

The course will focus on developing conducting technique and participants will be working with live 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. The musical repertoire for the workshop will range from classical selections to music from commercial films. Each session will be videotaped and critiqued.

A highly touted lab, past participants include composers Cliff Martinez, Stewart Copeland, Danny Pelfrey, Richard Gibbs, Bennett Salvay, Rolfe Kent, Julie and Steve Bernstein, Anthony Marinelli, Alex Wurman, Pete Scaturro, Gary Kuo and Laura Karpman.

"The conductor's workshop is an incredible experience for composers partially because of the brilliance that Lucas brings with him as a teacher, performer and creator," said BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President of Film/TV Relations in Los Angeles. "The participants get the opportunity to work with some of the top musicians in the world while they're conducting, and the actual hands-on experience is one that cannot be duplicated in such a condensed period of time. We've heard time and time again how instrumental this workshop has been in adding skill sets to the composer's repertoire."

Lucas Richman is an accomplished 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. 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, he 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 conductor, recording scores for such films as the Academy Award-nominated As Good As It Gets, Face/Off, Seven, Breakdown, Anastasia and The Village. He received a Master of Music degree 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.


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