Luke Styles is a British and Australian composer and artistic director, published by G.Schirmer/Wise Music, 13oder14 and the Australian Music Centre. Luke was the first Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence, the first composer in residence at the Foundling Museum since Handel and he has recently been appointed the British Council Musician in Residence to Brazil. Luke’s operas have been performed on the famous Glyndebourne main stage, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductors such as Vladimir Jurowski. Luke is the artistic director of the Deal Festival and Deal Music and Arts.
Luke’s first Australian opera Ned Kelly premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Perth Festival and his latest opera Awakening Shadow premiered in 2021 at the Cheltenham Music Festival, Presteigne Festival and will receive a second production by Sydney Chamber Opera in 2022. Luke’s recent symphonic song cycle No Friend But The Mountains premiered at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne in March 2021 and has since been turned into a 2-part ABC TV documentary. His 2018 cycle On Bunyah, written for Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia setting poetry by Les Murray, premiered at the Wigmore Hall, London followed by a UK tour and performances in Australia, where it was described as “Styles’s On Bunyah is magnificent and just like the poem is raw, not polite.” – The Australian. On Bunyah received a high commendation in the 2019 Paul Lowin Prize.
Luke recently completed Tracks in the Orbit a Saxophone Concerto for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Brittany Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. In 2022 Luke will compose two major vocal works, an Oratorio, Voices of Power, for the Three Choirs Festival, Philharmonia Orchestra and soloist Hilary Summers, and a song cycle for the French ensemble Le Balcon for premiere in Paris and at the Lille Opera. Looking further ahead Luke will compose orchestral works for European and Australian orchestras, including a new work for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2023 as part of their 50 Fanfares Project. He currently has 2 new operas in development for partnerships between European, American and Australian opera companies.
Throughout his career Luke has been heavily involved in creating collaborative and multi-discipline works. These have included works for dancers and circus performers, in the form of Handspun, commissioned by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and subsequently produced in Oslo, Helsinki, Prague, London and Panama City. Luke has created silent-film scores for the British Film Institute and works for musicians and actors for Kings Place and the Werkraum Festival in Germany.
Luke began his composition training with a Bachelor of Music (composition) degree at the Royal Academy of Music London (graduating with honours in 2005, in 2015 Luke was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music). Following this Luke went on to postgraduate studies with Wolfgang Rihm at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Germany (funded by a full DAAD scholarship), with George Benjamin at King’s College London (funded by an Association for Cultural Exchange Scholarship), with Detlev Müller-Siemens at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Vienna and in 2016 Luke completed a PhD with supervisors Michael Finnissy, Paul Barker and Dominic Murcott at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where Luke was a member of staff. His PhD focused on the nature of collaboration, a theme which continues to play a central role in his work.
Luke has collaborated with many of the worlds top soloists such as Tenor Mark Padmore, horn player David Pyatt and violinist Matthew Truscott. His music has featured at festivals including the Wien Modern, Aldeburgh Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Perth Festival and the Darmstadt International Festival for New Music. Major performance venues of Luke’s music include the Sydney Opera House, Glyndebourne, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Finnish Music Center and the Vienna Concert Hall.