Luke, Ray, American composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Forth Worth, Tex., May 30,1928. He received training in theory at Tex. Christian Univ. in Fort Worth (B.M., 1949; M.M., 1950), and in theory and composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (Ph.D., 1960). In 1962 he joined the faculty of Oklahoma City Univ., where he taught for more than 35 years. He also conducted its orch. and opera productions until 1987. From 1963 to 1967 he was music director of the Lyric Theater of Okla. in Oklahoma City. He was assoc. conductor of the Oklahoma City Sym. Orch. from 1968 to 1973, and then was its music director and resident conductor in 1973–74. Thereafter he was a frequent guest conductor with it until 1979. Every year from 1962 he received ASCAP awards. His Piano Concerto won first prize in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Composition Competition in 1969. In 1978 he won first prize in the Rockefeller Foundation/New England Cons, of Music Competition with his opera Medea.In 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Oklahoma City Univ. As a composer, Luke has utilized various contemporary techniques in his works.
dramatic: Opera: Medea (1978; Boston, May 3, 1979); Drowne’s Wooden Image (1994); Mrs. Bullfrog (1994). ballet:Tapestry (Oklahoma City, May 8, 1975). orch.:2 Miniatures (1957); 3 suites (1958, 1967, 1990); Epilogue (1958); 4 syms. (1959, 1961,1963, 1970); Suite for 12 Orch. Woodwinds (1962); Symphonic Dialogues I for Violin, Oboe, and Orch. (1965) and II for Soprano, Violin, Oboe, Harpsichord, and Strings (1988); Bassoon Concerto (1965); Fanfare for Symphonic Winds and Percussion (1967); Piano Concerto (1968); Incantation for Cello, Harp, and Strings (1968); Summer Music, concert overture (1970); Compressions I (1972) and II (1973); Celebration for the Oklahoma Diamond Jubilee (1982); Sinfonia Concertante for Double Orch. (1989); Fanfare for Brass Quintet and Orch. (1990); Trumpet Concerto (2000). concert band:Prelude and March (1959); Antiphonale and Toccata (1960); Introduction and Badinage (1968); New England Miniatures (1968); Intrada and Rondo (1972); Sonics and Metrics (1973); Design (1976). chamber:Lament for Horn and String Quartet (1957); Woodwind Quintet (1958); String Quartet (1966); 4 Dialogues for Organ and Percussion (1970); Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano (1974); Septet for Winds and Strings (1979); Suite for Trumpet (1986); Suite for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (1988); Compressions III for Brass Quintet (1988); 4 Scenes for 8 Flutes (1993); Contrasts for Bassoon and Piano (1993); Splinters From Old Wood for 2 Trumpets (1994); Wood From Old Splinters for 2 Vibraphones (1994); Flute Sonata (1999). vocal:Psalm 51 for Chorus and Concert Band (1960); 2 Odes for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, and Piano (1965); Symphonic Songs for Mezzo-soprano and Orch. (1968); Epitaphs for 12 Voices (1979); 4 Foibles for Voices (1980); Plaintes and Dirges for Chorus and Orch. (1982); Quartz Mountain for Voices and Orch. (1988); Cantata Concertante for Choruses, Instrumental Ensembles, and Orch. (1991); Celebration for Chorus, Brass Sextet, and Organ (1999).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire