Dr Luke Lewis

Luke was educated at a comprehensive school in West Wales before studying music at the University of Salford. As an electric guitarist, he initially moved for the music department’s expertise in pop and jazz music, but composition became his focus through studies under Joe Duddell. From there he moved to Merton College, Oxford to study for the MSt and subsequently received a full AHRC award to work on a DPhil under the supervision of Robert Saxton and Jonathan Cross at Christ Church. He also spent a year studying composition and orchestration with Hans Abrahamsen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. In his spare time he plays jazz guitar in a couple of bands and tends to the garden.


For all year groups Luke teaches Composition, Techniques of Composition, Orchestration, Music Analysis & Criticism, and dissertations concerning twentieth century music. For first-years he lectures on and tutors Pop Transcription and Arrangement and gives tutorials on jazz harmony and arranging.

Luke’s music has been performed internationally by groups including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Athelas Sinfonietta, Esbjerg Ensemble, and Orkest de Ereprijs. His main compositional interests are around the formal and structural connections between music and text and increasingly a preoccupation with computer-aided methods of transcribing music and speech.Recent works include his Shrove Duos for violinists Clio Gould and Jonathan Morton that took an archive recording of a folk song as its starting point, Five Portraits for the Solem Quartet which relied on a transcription of the speech of the late composer Joseph Horovitz, and Luke’s largest work to date The Echoes Return Slow. This latter piece was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and saw archive recordings of the singing and speaking of Welsh miners and their wives transcribed into notation in order to weave together a work described as ‘no sentimental evocation of the past, but a hard-hitting account of tough work, harsh conditions and resilient people.’


Alongside his classical work, Luke is busy in the popular music world too. He’s arranged and/or conducted projects with Gaz Coombes (Supergrass), Grammy Award winning group Clean Bandit, Katie Melua, Jane Weaver, Palace and Richard Walters amongst others in collaboration with chamber groups as well as the BBC Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras.


In terms of written work, Luke’s doctoral research was a major study of the British composer Steve Martland and his music. His currently project is a book on beginnings in music.