BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra learned this week that its music director, Maestro Lucas Richman, was nominated for two Grammy Awards last week for his work conducting the album “Calling All Dawns,” by composer Christopher Tin. The album was nominated for Best Classical Crossover Album, and the song “Baba Yetu” off the album was nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.
In addition, the BSO on Friday was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Maine Charity Foundation Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to support the BSO’s Know Your Orchestra! voucher program in the 2010-11 symphony season.
Richman conducted London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the studio recording of “Calling All Dawns,” which features the collaborative efforts of more than 200 musicians from around the world singing poems and prayers in 12 different languages.
“We’re really fortunate in that Lucas lives in a number of different musical worlds, and he’s able to bring them all together successfully,” BSO Executive Director David Whitehill said Friday. “He’s a major asset to the BSO.”
Performers include mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, early music singers Anonymous 4, Iranian-born Sussan Deyhim, Portuguese fado singer Dulce Pontes, Chinese soprano Jia Ruhan, and Japanese pop singers Lia, Aoi Tada and Kaori Omura. Video game fans may know the song “Baba Yetu” as the theme song to the game “Civilization IV.” The nomination of the song is the first time a recording from a video game has been nominated for a Grammy.
Richman is well-known as a composer and conductor for film. His credits include the Academy Award-nominated “The Village,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Face/Off,” and “Se7en,” among others. Composer John Williams personally invited Richman to serve as the conductor for the three-month national summer tour of “Star Wars in Concert.”
This is his first Grammy nomination and the first time a BSO music director has been nominated.
The 53rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, on CBS.
The Know Your Orchestra! program provides K-12 students and their parents or guardians and other family members with affordable access to BSO concerts — a family of four can attend a concert for $20. With arts funding for schools cut across the board, the KYO! program helps bring the students directly to the music.
“We distribute vouchers through teachers, schools, social services and other interested parties. If a student has a voucher, he or she can go for free and bring a friend or sibling for free,” said Whitehill. “They can also bring their parents or guardians, and for them it only costs $10. We’ve had between 70 and 100 people come to concerts because of that. And they’re coming back. We’re building a subscription culture in young families.”
Robert Lorimer, owner of RDL Strings in Bangor, was pleased with the response from his studio’s students and their families after they used the KYO! voucher to attend the BSO’s Nov. 14 performance.
“We encouraged all our string students to go, and more than 25 families totaling about 75 people were able to attend,” he said in a recent news release from the BSO. “The feedback has been terrific. Many of these families were attending the BSO for the first time, and all were thrilled with the performance. I think that this pro-gram is a key component for building the classical music audience of the future. Many of the children now studying violin with quality teachers will be the future players in the BSO, and their influence will draw audiences from the greater Bangor area for years to come.”