Paducah’s Logan Blackman or the climb of a music conducting expert: Nardolillo says Blackman’s piece is nicely paired with the major work on Friday’s concert, Mahler’s “Titan” symphony. Both are rooted in deep, compelling emotions that will be clear to the audience. For Blackman, it’s emotion rooted in a painful memory, but he says he has been able to revisit it without being overwhelmed by the pain of his parents’ deaths. “I was 15 when they passed away, and since then, I have always dealt with it very well,” he says. “I’ve never really understood how. It’s not easy, by any means, but every time I hear it, every time I think about it, it makes it more meaningful. Personally, on my own side, it’s a good way to hash out thoughts and feelings that I might not have already hashed out.” See even more info at https://issuu.com/loganjblackmanmusic.
At only 17 years old, Blackman founded and conducted the Blackman Wind Symphony—a semi-professional wind ensemble based in Paducah, Kentucky. In addition to conducting, Blackman is currently a freelance bassoonist, organist, pianist, and composer. He obtained his bachelor’s in bassoon performance and master’s in conducting from the University of Kentucky in 2018. Needless to say, Logan Blackman is one exceptionally talented individual. We recently sat down with Blackman to talk about his craft, his love of music, and what inspires him.
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 remaining three works prior to intermission played strongly to Bernstein’s musings on philosophical and religious ideas and texts, with John Nardolillo (UKSO) conducting the Serenade and Three Meditations from Mass, and Jefferson Johnson conducting Cinchester Psalms, sung by four choruses: the UK Choristers (Elizabeth Wilson), the UK Women’s Choir (Lori Hetzel), the UK Chorale and the UK Men’s Chorus (Jefferson Johnson). Bernstein’s philosophical Serenade, based on Plato’s Symposium, is a lively musical exchange on the subject of love. The conversation began with an eruption of discord and dissonance as all the instruments tried to speak at once. But then guest violinist Daniel Mason (Concertmaster of the Lexington Philharmonic) inserted himself into the squabble and engaged in a dueling duet with the principal cellist as both expressed their views with equal gravity.
The UK Symphony Orchestra February concert will feature Robinson accompanied by the UK Symphony Orchestra on Carl Nielson’s Clarinet Concerto, Op. 57. The orchestra will also perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony and Logan Blackman’s “Prayer of a Broken Heart.” Blackman’s “Prayer of a Broken Heart,” a tone poem, was originally written for a wind ensemble back in 2012 following the sudden death of the composer’s parents in October 2011. “It was my reaction to their death describing what I had been through and what my future had to hold,” Blackman said. Read additional information at https://amp.kentucky.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article133070159.html.