Luke Lewis

Research Interests

Luke Lewis (b. 1988) studied composition under Joe Duddell at the University of Salford, Hans Abrahamsen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, and is now completing a doctorate under the supervision of Robert Saxton and Jonathan Cross at Christ Church, Oxford, with the support of an AHRC/Christ Church Scholarship. He was also mentored by the late Steve Martland; being the final student, and first for many years, the composer took under his wing. His music have been performed internationally and recent highlights include a premiere by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, opening the 2014 Pulsar Festival in Copenhagen with the Athelas Sinfonietta, and a setting of text by the poet Sir Geoffrey Hill for Orkest de Ereprijs in the Netherlands. His most recent commission, for solo piano, is to be premiered at the Wales International Piano Festival in April 2016.

Alongside his composition and academic work, Luke is in demand as an orchestrator/arranger and music supervisor. Projects range from choir, chamber ensemble, and orchestral arrangements for concerts/recordings often involving pop artists, to music supervision work for recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios and the London Symphony Orchestra. With this, he is an experienced editor/copyist having worked for international publishers on everything from instrumental exam syllabuses to contemporary classical works. He also often writes concert programme notes too and short pieces on contemporary music from time to time.

Area of proposed thesis

Parallel to his composing, his written research considers the music of Steve Martland (1954–2013). A vocally political composer whose work is often spoken of as ‘hard-edged’ and ‘punched out at furious tempi and ear-splitting volumes’, this research on Martland involves a critical reconsideration of his output with a focus on his politics are expressed, often in rather nuanced ways, and how they were manifested variously throughout his musical life.

Recently, Luke has found a new research interest in editing baroque opera. Having created a modern performing edition of Leonardo Leo’s La Zingaretta (1731) for New Chamber Opera, he subsequently worked closely with Prof. Michael Burden (New College, Oxford) to prepare the first modern edition of the English version of Cavalli’s L’Erismena (1656) for Bärenreiter. Current work includes Cimarosa’s Il Pittore Parigino (1781) and, following this, an edition of Domenico Paradies’s Fetonte (1747) based on the manuscript held at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.


AHRC/Christ Church Scholarship

Subjects Taught