Discipline: Music Composition

Luke Carlson

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Hollister, MO
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Described as “yielding fascinating timbres” (Washington Classical Review), “magical” and “otherworldly” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “personal and strong” (New York Times), the music of composer Luke Carlson explores the historied traditions and modern aesthetics of timbre, texture, and tonality. Carlson is an associate professor of music at College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO. His honors include the Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, a Copland House Fellowship, the Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, and two nominations by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His music has been performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Daedalus String Quartet, the Fuse Trio, Network for New Music, Aether Eos, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent premieres include Histories (2023) for violin and piano, Patterns (2022) for solo piano, and Blue-Bleak Embers (2022) for horn trio. Future projects include Measure, a piano quintet for the Daedalus String Quartet and pianist Matthew Bengtson; Gamer for percussion and interactive electronics commissioned by Diego Alfonso; and a work for clarinet and interactive electronics commissioned by Thiago Ancelmo.

While at MacDowell, Carlson composed eight movements for a series of solo piano pieces titled “Patterns: Book II." This second book is inspired by geometric shapes and their mathematical properties. The premiere is scheduled for the 2024/2025 season. The first book of “Patterns” was premiered in 2022 at several venues in Missouri, and will be performed again in 2023 at Old First Concerts in San Francisco.


Irving Fine

Luke Carlson worked in the Irving Fine studio.

Youngstown Studio was given to MacDowell by friends of Miss Myra McKeown in Youngstown, OH, where she promoted both art and music. It was renamed Irving Fine Studio in 1972 in honor of Irving Fine, a distinguished composer, conductor, and teacher who was a MacDowell Fellow during the 1940s and 1950s. The simple interior of the studio…

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