San Francisco Ballet Welcome Ming Luke As Guest Conductor For Kennedy Center Performance.
Ming Luke will act as guest conductor for San Francisco Ballet (SFB), "one of the world's top ballet companies" (London Sunday Times), at Kennedy Center on October 28th, 1:30pm. Luke will lead the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in live accompaniment for pieces choreographed by some of the world's most renowned dance-makers.
The program Luke will conduct (Program A) explores charged contemporary themes. Trey McIntyre's Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem dissects the loss of more joyful times. Christopher Wheeldon's Bound To© is a reflection of technology in contemporary society. David Dawson's Anima Animus, the choreographer's first American commission, is inspired by Carl Jung's concept of animus (the male aspect of the female psyche) and anima (the female aspect of the male psyche). Dawson's work in particular investigates the polarized present-day world by and potentials of finding space between opposites. East Coast Premieres from Unbound
John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566, Tickets: $29 - $129.
Dancers and musicians literally speak different languages. There are few resources to illuminate how to play live music for classical dance. The subtlety of historical approaches to ballet repertoire are traditionally dependent on knowledge passed down orally amongst musicians.
Luke, who has experience as a musician and a dancer, often acts as a Rosetta stone for communication between artists working within these mediums. Now an accomplished conductor based in Mountain View, CA, Ming Luke started learning piano at 3 years old and violin at age 8. As a middle schooler in Belle Meade, Tennessee, Luke was given free ballet lessons so local girls could have a partner. This dance training further inspired him to invest in learning music. Ming Luke's training in ballet continued at Carnegie Mellon, while he worked towards his Masters of Fine Arts in Conducting. Though Luke fully committed to conducting professionally after grad school, his ballet experience is now simply an extension of his expertise in music. Continuing this marriage between movement and music, Ming Luke also studied Dalcroze Eurythmics at Westminster Choir College and Carnegie Mellon, a body-based education system for understanding musical composition.
Ambitious and versatile, Ming Luke is a highly lauded, greatly coveted conductor, invited to present symphonic, choral, and classical ballet music all over the world. A virtuoso musical talent with background as a dancer, Luke possesses the connective creative tissue required to successfully collaborate with dance companies and deepen the impact of movement to live music. Luke is the Principal Guest Conductor for the San Francisco Ballet (SFB), having led over one hundred productions at the historic War Memorial Opera House. Embarking on eight tours with the company, he has presented time-honored classics like Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet at the John F. Kennedy Center and Sadler's Wells. Ming Luke has conducted the Bolshoi Orchestra in Russia as well as l'Orchestre Prométhée in Paris as part of a residency with Les Etés de la Danse. Other dance companies Luke has conducted include the prestigious New York City Ballet Orchestra, Nashville Symphony/Ballet, Napa Regional Dance Company, and Boston Ballet. Because of his passion for conducting for dance, Luke has worked closely with some of the most preeminent choreographers of the 21st century, like Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Alexei Ratmansky, and Liam Scarlett. Famed Kirov Ballet dancer Natalia Makarova says that "Ming has a mixture of pure musicality and sensitivity to the needs of dancers, which are such rare qualities."
Beyond dance, Ming Luke has worked with ensembles across the US, UK, Russia, France, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Austria. The Napa Valley Register has noted that, as a conductor, Ming has "his audience as much in his thrall as his musicians." With a commanding presence both on and off stage, Ming Luke acts as Music Director for a variety of organizations. He has the distinction of being only the third Music Director selected to the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra in the past 50 years. Luke is also the Music Director for the Merced Symphony in the California central valley.
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. While at Carnegie Mellon University, Luke worked with the illustrious Robert Page, who instilled in him the idea that conductors are conductors, not "choral" conductors or "ballet" conductors or "symphonic" conductors. Ming Luke embodies this expansive thinking, seeking opportunities to challenge himself and his audience. Learn more at mingluke.com.