“Ming Luke delivered the best live theater performance I’ve ever heard of [Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet]” – Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle

“[Luke] has the energy, creativity and charisma not seen in a family show since Leonard Bernstein…and I don’t say this lightly.” – Paul Jan Zdunek,  Pasadena Symphony

“Maestro Ming Luke, who so skillfully and sensitively conducted this variety of selections from baroque to Broadway, [had] his audience as much in his thrall as his musicians.” – James Keolker, Napa Valley Register

Welcome to the homepage of conductor Ming Luke, current Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet
Principal Guest Conductor, since 2011

Festival Napa Valley
Program Director – Blackburn Music Academy, since 2017

Merced Symphony
Music Director, since 2013

Berkeley Symphony
Associate Conductor and Education Director, since 2006

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
Music Director, since 2011



Conductor Ming Luke is rapidly establishing himself as an exciting and versatile conductor to watch. In the past seasons he has worked with ensembles across the US, UK, Russia, France, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Austria; and has conducted orchestras such as: Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, Birmingham Royal, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Boston Ballet, l’Orchestre Prométhée (France), Gödöllő Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Opera San José, Nashville Symphony/Ballet, Billings Symphony, Sacramento Opera, Napa Regional Dance Company, Sacramento Philharmonic, Komorni Orchestr Akademie of Prague, the Napa Valley Symphony, and others. The Napa Valley Register said that his conducting had “his audience as much in his thrall as his musicians.” Also the Music Director of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, a well-regarded institution in Berkeley, he is only the third Music Director in 50 years.

Equally talented as a ballet conductor, Luke is the Principal Guest Conductor for the San Francisco Ballet and has conducted the company over a hundred times at the San Francisco War Memorial. Embarking on eight separate tours with the company, he conducted Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella at the Kennedy Center and made his English debut at Sadler’s Wells. Luke was invited to prepare the Bolshoi Orchestra in Russia for a special festival featuring some of the top ballet companies around the world and conducted the company with l’Orchestre Prométhée in Paris as part of a residency with Les Etés de la Danse. Famed dancer Natalia Makarova stated, “Ming has a mixture of pure musicality and a sensitivity to needs of the dancers, which are such rare qualities.”

Luke is the Music Director for the Merced Symphony in the California central valley. Recognized nationally for his innovative education programs, Luke has written, arranged, and performed over 150 education concerts with the Berkeley Symphony, for whom he is the Associate Conductor. He has served on grant panels for the National Endowment of the Arts and the Grants and Cultural Committee of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. An exciting pops conductor, Luke has created and conducted a variety of pops concerts in many venues, from baseball stadiums, to picnics in the park with over 4,000 people in attendance, traditional concert halls and recording for Major League Baseball.

Ming Luke holds a Master of Fine Arts in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Piano Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Read what the press has to say here.


Education & Family Programming

Ming Luke offers several programs geared towards children and families.  All of the performances that he has developed adhere to state and national curriculum standards in music.  To bring one of the example concerts below to your orchestra, or to collaborate with Ming on a new program, please contact him.

What is American Music?
America is the great melting pot, but what does that mean for the American Symphony and classical music? Explore how all the various cultures that make up what it means to be American come together in music to make our distinctly American musical sounds. With favorite works from Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin and more, this educational and fun concert will show you the crossing of musical styles that created today’s American music.

American In Paris by Gershwin
West Side Story (arr. Mason) by Bernstein
Hoedown from Rodeo by Copland
Washington Post March by Sousa
Maple Leaf Rag (arr. for orch) by Joplin
Oh When the Saints Go Marchin’ In (arr. in Dixie style)

Target audience: upper elementary

Who Messed Up My Orchestra?
Famous maestro Rusty van Beethoven, descendant of Ludwig van Beethoven, has come to perform his great ancestor’s Fifth Symphony. But something is wrong – the orchestra members are all jumbled up! Learn about the different sections of the orchestra in this hilarious and educational show as Rusty tries to figure out how to rearrange the orchestra so that he can perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Beethoven Symphony No. 5 first mvt
Tchaikovsky Symphony third mvt
Mozart Divertimento K136 first mvt
William Tell Overture by Rossini
Overture to Die Fledermaus by Strauss II

Target audience – lower elementary

I’ve Got Rhythm, No Wait I Don’t!
Famous soprano Carrie Hennessey will now sing Gershwin’s famous song I’ve Got Rhythm. But something is wrong–she’s lost her sense of rhythm! Join us in this hilarious exploration of the difference between tempo and rhythm as Carrie and the orchestra try to regain her sense of timing again. Students and families will explore all sorts of famous rhythms and tempos through the repertoire of Bizet, Marquez, Haydn and more!

Bizet – Danse Boheme, Habanera, and Les Toreador from Carmen
Haydn Symphony 94 2nd mvt.
Marquez – Danzon No. 2
Holst – Dargasson from St. Paul’s Suite

Target audience – families (all ages)

Powerful Percussion!
Boom! Crash! Bang! There are dozens of different types of percussion instruments that are used in orchestras – this concert includes everything… and the kitchen sink! Anything you hit, shake or scrape can become a percussion instrument – explore the wacky history of percussion instruments. Hear when Beethoven had a Turkish Army walk through his Ninth Symphony, the resounding power of the timpani in the finale of the Dance Bachannale, and, who knows, maybe you’ll join us on stage to play for Mozart’s Toy Symphony!

Includes excerpts from:
1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky
Dance Bacchanale by Saint-Saëns
Dance Macabre by Saint-Saëns
Typewriter by Anderson
Ruins of Athens by Beethoven
Beethoven Symphony 9
Toy Symphony by Haydn
Cucina Bella by Crockarell

Target audience – families (all ages)

Upcoming Events

To see a list of Ming’s past engagements, click here.

MAY 2018

San Francisco Ballet
New Works Festival
May 2018 – dates TBD
For more information click here.

Boston Ballet
Sleeping Beauty
May 11, 12, 13, 2018
For more information click here.

Houston Ballet
Global Movements
May 24-June 3, 2018
For more information click here.

JUNE 2018

Houston Ballet
Don Quixote
June 7-17, 2018
For more information click here.

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
June 22, 23, 44, 2018
For more information click here.