Richard Lee, Conductor (Chronic Creative)
I bet your readers didn't know that many of these last-minute replacement scenarios are staged or exaggerated for dramatic effect. However, no drama here until the downbeat!
—Richard Lee, WSO Resident Conductor
WSO Resident conductor Richard Lee has been immersed in music since he was three years old. After going off track for a few years and studying physics, he succumbed to a career in music.
Fastforward from dangling his legs at the piano at age three to hovering over the 70+ members of the Winnipeg Symphony, baton in hand. Richard Lee needs to stand firm on the podium this weekend, after taking over at the last minute for scheduled guest conductor Larry Rachleff who had to cancel due to a family illness.
Music featured on this program includes Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring , On the Town by Leonard Bernstein, and Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich.
SCENE asked Richard Lee for an e-interview at the last minute - something he's getting used to...
1. What was your reaction when you found out that maestro Rachleff couldn't conduct this Masterworks concert?
I found out during the New Music Festival. I was definitely excited, but there was a knot in my stomach, as I consider this program very difficult to conduct and play. I also felt sympathy for Mr. Rachleff's plight, as the declining health of a parent is tough to go through.
(I bet your readers didn't know that many of these last-minute replacement scenarios are staged or exaggerated for dramatic effect. However, no drama here until the downbeat!)
2. What did you have to do to prepare for the concert?
I had the scores already and I was "covering" this week anyway, which means I have to attend all rehearsals, assist the conductor as requested (especially with soloist balance) and be on standby. Since I had gone through the scores in a rough manner already, I had to start looking at them more carefully.
3. What excites you about this particular program?
It's a showcase of the different styles and sounds of 20th century American classical music. Folksy, jazzy, soulful, extremely melodic, austere, cacophonous. I wouldn't extrapolate too far, but in this program, rhythm is very much at the core of all the works.