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Melodies sparkle under Ming Luke'sensitive baton.

"...a parade of melodies that sparkle under the sensitive baton of conductor Ming Luke..."


About Ming Luke

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, multiple Asian cultural programs with the San Francisco Symphony, and over a hundred and fifty performances at the San Francisco War Memorial with San Francisco Ballet. Luke has soloed as a pianist with Pittsburgh Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, and San Francisco Ballet, and he currently serves as Music Director for the Las Cruces Symphony, Merced Symphony, and Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra; Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Nashville Ballet, Interim Executive and Artistic Director 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.

Luke is proud to cultivate a dynamic career in both symphonic and theatrical conducting, and has conducted hundreds of opera and ballet performances worldwide. He has performed and collaborated with some of the world's leading singers, including Sylvia McNair, Christian Van Horn, Nicolas Phan, Kiera Duffy, Erie Mills, Kevin Short, and Monica Yunus, to name a few. Sylvia McNair remarked that "Ming is a very talented musician and conductor... when Ming was in charge of something, anything, I knew I had no worries." His recent performances with members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra at Classical Tahoe were broadcast on PBS. Passionate about collaboration with dance companies and deepening the impact of movement to live music, Luke has collaborated with many of the world's leading choreographers, including Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Cathy Marston, Benjamin Millepied, David Dawson, and more. Luke 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. 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 been recognized nationally for his work with music education and has designed and conducted over 150 education concerts and programs with organizations such as the Berkeley Symphony, Houston Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and others. Luke 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.


What's next?

Ming Luke looks forward to a diverse and busy 2023/24 season of conducting throughout Northern California and beyond, with engagements including work with San Francisco SymphonySan Francisco BalletNashville Ballet, Las Cruces SymphonyFestival Napa ValleyBerkeley Symphony, and more. He enjoys a robust and varied career in both the symphonic and theatre (opera and ballet) music worlds. Discover where you can see him conducting next on his schedule!

Ming Luke conducted a boisterous rendition...

"Ming Luke conducted the orchestra in a properly boisterous rendition of Ludwig Minkus' marvelously apt circus music (written a century before Leroy Anderson's similar classical pop)."


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