Ming Luke takes over as LCSO’s new conductor
The Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra has a new conductor: Ming Luke, who brings to this position his versatile experience as a conductor, choir, ballet and pop, as well as a passion for music. musical education. This weekend, he will lead his inaugural concerts as new artistic director with two works of “Symphonic Dances” by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Leonard Bernstein, both beloved composers of the 20e century.
As he takes the helm, Luke said his goal is to “rebuild the orchestra”, after two and a half years of the pandemic. “We’re really excited about some of the connections that we’re making and some of the concert programs that we’re able to re-plan, and get 70 people up on stage again to make music,” he said. he told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. in this Zoom interview. He also wants to “connect more with the community as much as possible – through the musicians, through the concerts, through collaborations with various organizations”, and through the orchestra’s existing relationship with NMSU. Luke succeeds Lonnie Klein, who retired from the LCSO in 2020 after 22 years.
Luke has conducted concerts in Moscow, Prague, Washington, DC, Birmingham (UK), France and elsewhere, and is principal guest conductor of the San Francisco Ballet, principal conductor of the Nashville Ballet and musical director of the Merced Symphony and Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, among other positions. His background includes initial training in musical theater and ballet, and he holds degrees in piano, music education and orchestral conducting.
“Music has been a part of every society that has ever existed in Earth’s history,” he said. “And there is something very special about music, the way it connects to our brain, the way it allows us to connect with each other. And classical music with the symphony orchestra really has the ability to cover all music in its entirety, as well as all emotions and situations.
Ming Luke will conduct the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra this Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Atkinson Recital Hall.