Q&A with Lucas Ranieri

Lucas Ranieri photo

Lucas Ranieri

Class of 2018 B.M., Composition

Current composition student Lucas Ranieri (B.M. '18) learns by doing. Thanks to the program's plentiful opportunities to hear student compositions performed live, this year, Ranieri has done a lot.

Which song in your iTunes has the most plays?

The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. This is probably my favorite piece of all time. I used to blast it and fall asleep to it every night for a few years when I was a teenager, which is funny, because at times it's not "pretty" music and can be quite intense. Definitely not lullaby material.

Who is your favorite artist or band?

Lady Gaga.

What do you do to "destress"?

I like to ride my bike. I live in Brighton by the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and bike around it late at night when no one is around and decompress. It serves as a good reminder that I'm not just a busy student and musician, but that I'm a growing person and need to take in calm moments and think about nothing sometimes so that I can remain grounded.

What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Besides going to concerts and arts-related events, I just like to walk around aimlessly and take in Boston's scenery and all the different neighborhoods.

What's your favorite thing about the Conservatory?

We are given permission to make our work, collaborate, and, most importantly, we're allowed to fail without coming under ridicule. To me, that's part of making the future of the arts. Lots of people are wondering where the arts are going and some people want to uphold traditions. To move forward we have to try something new and fail, then try again, fail more, and then succeed. The Conservatory is one of the only institutions I know of that encourages new perspectives so freely and generously. It has taught me a lot about what I want to bring to the world once I graduate.

What do you think is the best aspect of the B.M. in composition program?

The multitude of performance opportunities. I've learned that the best way to learn how to be a composer is not only through composing and studying scores, but also working with musicians and testing out your ideas. Some other schools only have a handful of student composer concerts a year. We have 36, in addition to performance opportunities like working with new music ensembles in Boston through our department. I learn through doing, so it's a perfect program for anyone who learns that way and is willing to be open with their ideas.

What do you hope to be doing in two years?

I hope to be traveling, living a sort of nomadic life, traversing the arts world, and not just collaborating with musicians, but maybe also with theater groups, film studios, or dancers. 

What are you are currently involved in that you would never have guessed you would be?

I'm currently involved in writing a ton of music for this school year, and it will all get performed by some great musicians. Three years ago, I would never have thought that would happen. The faculty in the Composition Department really motivate us to produce work and have it performed, and that's a good source of motivation if you're willing to work hard.