The rise of a music orchestra conducting professional : Paducah’s Logan J. Blackman: Let’s start by having you describe your sound to our readers… Logan J. Blackman : Symphonically, my sound is very grand and cinematic. However in my chamber works, I tend to take a much lighter tone. My Bassoon Duets, “The Logic of a Mad-Man” is nothing but one big satire/comedic piece. Is it true you’ve been making music since you were a child? Logan J. Blackman : Yes! I have been making music since I was 12, but I began writing at around 14. Read additional info at Logan Blackman.
John Nardolillo has appeared with more than 30 of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the National Symphony, and principal orchestras of Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, Utah, Columbus, Indianapolis, Oregon, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Alabama, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, Toledo, Vermont, Columbus, Omaha and Hawaii. He also recently conducted concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; and Carnegie Hall in New York. Nardolillo made his professional conducting debut in 1994 at the Sully Festival in France, and has since made conducting appearances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and China. He has led major American orchestras in subscription series concerts, summer and pops concerts, education concerts and tours, and for television and radio broadcasts. In 2004 Nardolillo joined the faculty at the UK School of Music, where he is currently serving as the director of orchestras.
The second half of the program offered much lighter fare and focused on Bernstein’s compositions for theater, stage, and film which involved collaboration with with several lyricists, the two most notable being Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. After Intermission, clarinetist Scott Wright, the UK Jazz Ensemble and conductor Miles Osland took to the stage with Bernstein’s Prelude (for the brass), Fugue (for the saxes), and Riffs (for everyone). The Prelude was a jazzy, cool, and rhythmic exposition for the brass, drums, and bass. The mellow saxes teased each other unmercifully in the Fugue but were provided full support, be it point or counterpoint, in their individual and collective fugal moments. The Riffs ensued when Scott Wright (Professor of Clarinet at UK) took the lead with the big band sound as he masterfully interacted with everyone, fully engulfing the call-response format near the end that garnered the well-deserved acknowledgement he received from the ensemble and audience alike. I felt as if I had just been to church while heeding the call of the wild.
The critically acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro John Nardolillo, will perform next with concerto competition winner, Michael Robinson, a junior at UK School of Music. The concert will include music by celebrated composers Carl Nielson and Gustav Mahler, as well as a premiere of work by UK junior Logan Blackman. The concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Read even more details on Logan J. Blackman.
When Blackman got to the University of Kentucky, he started working on adapting “Prayer” into an orchestral work, at first simply transcribing it. But then, he started to do more, and the work attracted attention. “He joined the orchestra as an undergraduate bassoonist, and it soon became clear that his interests were wider than just playing the bassoon,” UK Symphony Orchestra director John Nardolillo says. “I knew he composed, and he asked me if I would look at the score to this piece he’d been working on. Then he asked if he could take some conducting lessons. So he was working on conducting and I looked at the score, and the score is interesting, and his level of commitment and involvement and interest in conducting, composition and performing is quite high. The story of the piece is compelling, and it seemed like we were in a position to help him with those things.