Lexington’s Logan Blackman or the climb of a music conducting expert

Meet Kentucky’s Logan Blackman and some of his music conducting achievements: The University of Kentucky Symphony will play “Prayer,” with Blackman conducting, Friday night. Nardolillo says it’s unusual for a student composition to have the level of sophistication and advancement for the orchestra to take it on. Blackman says he never even considered that the UK Symphony might play his composition. From the moment the opportunity presented itself, he says, he wanted to conduct the performance. “My degree is in bassoon performance, but from here, I want to go to grad school to study conducting,” he says. “It would be interesting to sit back and listen, but being the lover of conducting that I am, I had the itch to do this.” See extra information at Logan Blackman.

Wow. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine what that has been like for you. You are a strong man. Speaking aside from your personal perspective, where do you find your inspiration? Logan J. Blackman : I take a lot of inspiration from John Williams, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, and Mozart. What are you currently working on? Logan J. Blackman : Compositionally, I only have a new set of bassoon duets I am working on. However I intend to be writing more very soon. Most of my musical efforts today have been working towards doing some recording of piano works.

Doors for the UK Symphony Orchestra concert open 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students, and free for UK students with a valid ID before the day of the performance (only purchase in person at the Singletary Center ticket office). A processing fee will be applied to tickets upon completion of transaction. Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office online at www.scfatickets.com, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the venue.

Maestro Nardolillo conducted the final number of the evening’s performance, the heart-rending chorale finale, Make Our Garden Grow from Candide, with soprano Jessica Bayne, tenor Michael Pandolfo and Mixed Chorus. This duet between Candide and Cunegonde (characters from Voltaire’s French satire, Candide: Or the Optimist) was Bernstein’s message to us all: And let us try, / Before we die, / To make some sense of life. / We’ll do the best we know . . . / And make our garden grow. Pandolfo’s and Bayne’s voices were sublime as they shared Bernstein’s impassioned plea full of sincerity and optimism. And as the chorus joined in, magnifying Candide’s and Cunegonde’s emotions, Bernstein’s plan to unite us and give us a glimpse of our humanity will continue long past his 100th. It doesn’t matter that the clock stops ticking, eternal truths keep on truckin’.

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 more information on Logan Blackman.