Welcome

“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
Staff Conductor, 2011-2017; Principal Guest Conductor, 2017-present

Festival Napa Valley
Founder and Program Director – Blackburn Music Academy

Merced Symphony
Music Director, since 2013

Berkeley Symphony
Associate Conductor and Education Director, since 2006

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
Music Director, since 2011

Biography

 

With the “energy, creativity and charisma not seen since Leonard Bernstein” and “vibrant,” “mind-blowing,” and “spectacular” conducting, Ming Luke is a versatile conductor that has excited audiences around the world.  Highlights include conducting the Bolshoi Orchestra in Moscow, performances of Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella at the Kennedy Center, his English debut at Sadler’s Wells with Birmingham Royal, conducting Dvorak’s Requiem in Dvorak Hall in Prague, recording scores for a Coppola film, and over a hundred performances at the San Francisco War Memorial with San Francisco Ballet.  He has been recognized nationally for his work with music education and has designed and conducted education concerts and programs with organizations such as the Berkeley Symphony, Houston Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and others.  Luke has soloed as a pianist with Pittsburgh Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, and San Francisco Ballet, and currently serves as Music Director for the Merced Symphony and Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra; Associate Conductor for the Berkeley Symphony; and Principal Guest Conductor for the San Francisco Ballet.  Long time critic Allan Ulrich of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Ming Luke delivered the best live theater performance I’ve ever heard of [Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet]” and in 2016 Luke’s War Requiem was named best choral performance of 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

For the 18-19 season, Luke serves as an Assistant/Cover Conductor for the San Francisco Symphony, opens the Berkeley Symphony’s season, works with the ARIA program with San Francisco Opera, and will return to the Kennedy Center and Sadler’s Wells in London with San Francisco Ballet.  Guesting at the San Bernardino Symphony, Billings Symphony, and Opera San Jose, Luke will also embark on a Baltics tour with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, a well regarded chorus for whom he is only the third Music Director in over fifty years.

Passionate about collaborate with dance companies and deepen the impact of movement to live music, he has guested with Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Nashville Symphony/Ballet, San Diego Ballet and others and conducted l’Orchestre Prométhée in Paris as part of San Francisco Ballet’s residency with Les Etés de la Danse. Noted for is work with Ballet.  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 has written, arranged, and performed over 150 education concerts with the Berkeley Symphony and 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.

Repertoire:
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.

Repertoire:
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!

Repertoire:
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.

SEPTEMBER 2018

Merced Symphony
September 22, 2018
Gliere Horn Concerto No. 1 with Kevin Rivard
For more information click here.

Opera San Jose
September 28 and 30, 2018
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
For more information click here.

OCTOBER 2018

Berkeley Symphony
October 4, 2018
Season Opener with Benjamin Beilman and Higdon Violin Concerto
For more information click here.

Berkeley Symphony
October 18, 2018
Fanfare for Uncommon Woman
Berkeley BART Plaza Reopening

San Francisco Ballet
October 28, 2018
At the Kennedy Center
For more information click here.

NOVEMBER 2018

Berkeley Symphony
November 3, 2018
Family Concerts
For more information click here.

Berkeley Symphony
November 1-9, 2018
Meet the Symphony Concerts
For more information click here.

San Francisco Opera
November 8, 2018
ARIA Program
For more information click here.

Merced Symphony
November 17, 2018
Shostakovich, Holst, and Bach
For tickets click here.

Billings Symphony
November 24, 25, 2018
Nutcracker
For more information click here.

DECEMBER 2018

San Francisco Ballet
December 12-29, 2018
Nutcracker
For more information click here.

JANUARY 2019

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
January 4-6, 2019
Dvořák Spectre’s Bride
For more information click here.

San Francisco Symphony
January 11-13, 2019
Assistant Conductor, Bruckner No. 5
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
January 23, 2019
Opening Night Gala (Cover conductor)
For more information click here.

FEBRUARY 2019

San Bernardino Symphony
February 9, 2019
A Night at the Pictures
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
February 12-23, 2019
Kaleidoscope
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
February 14-24, 2019
In Space and Time
For more information click here.

MARCH 2019

San Francisco Ballet
March 9-16, 2019
Sleeping Beauty
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
March 27-April 7, 2019
Lyric Voices
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
March 29-April 9, 2019
Space Between
For more information click here.

APRIL 2019

Merced Symphony
April 12, 2019
Mozart and Chaminade
For tickets click here.

San Francisco Ballet
April 19-28, 2019
Little Mermaid
For more information click here.

MAY 2019

San Francisco Ballet
May 7-12, 2019
Shostakovich Trilogy
For more information click here.

San Francisco Ballet
May 26-June 9, 2019
London Tour
For more information click here.

JUNE 2019

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
June 21-23, 2019
Brahms Requiem
For more information click here.

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra
June 25-July 4, 2019
European Tour – Brahms Requiem – Tallinn, Riga, Stockholm

JULY 2019

Festival Napa Valley
July 12-21, 2019
For more information click here.

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