Marking its ninth year, the BMI Conducting Workshop kicked off in Los Angeles on July 20 with conductor and composer Lucas Richman once again at the helm. "Conducting for the Film Composer" is a two-week course taught by Richman and coordinated by Ray Yee, BMI's Senior Director of Film/Television Relations. The class is 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 Joseph Julian Gonzalez (Resurrection Blvd., Price of Glory), James Venable (Powerpuff Girls, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks 2), Joseph Vitarelli (Revelations, Last Seduction), Andreas Kapsalas (Black Gold, Sundance Composer Lab fellow), Mervyn Warren (Honey, The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember), Walterio Pesquira (Mujeres Insumisas, La Usurpadora, Plaza Sesamo [Sesame Street]), Stephen Ridley (The Sharktank Redemption) and George Shaw (Purity, Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt).
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, Camara Kambon, Danny Pelfrey, Richard Gibbs, Bill Brown, Bennett Salvay, Rolfe Kent, Julie and Steve Bernstein, Mark De Gli Antoni, Anthony Marinelli, Alex Wurman, Pete Scaturro, Mick Muhlfriedal, Dominic Messenger, 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, Film/TV Relations. "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 composers' repertoires."
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.
Mr. 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, Breakdown, Anastasia and The Village. 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, André Previn, Herbert Blomstedt and Kurt Sanderling.
A limited amount of class auditors will be welcomed on an advanced approval basis. Requests for auditors should be sent to Yee at email@example.com.
Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing right organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of approximately 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.