On Macbeth (Glyndebourne/ROH)

“Elegantly creepy, defiantly cool” - Bachtrack

“the orchestral writing is crisp and incisive, conjuring up with imagination the successive atmospheres required for the tragedy’s trajectory.” The Guardian

Next Performance: Ned Kelly, (opera preview event) 25.02.18. Perth International Arts Festival


Handspun, commissioned by ROH2 and premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as part of Exposure Dance, Feb 2012.

Luke Styles is a composer prolific in opera, the theatre and instrumental music. Over the last four years Luke’s operas including Macbeth and Tycho’s Dream have been performed at Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Vault Festival. These operas have explored diverse worlds including cabaret, war and science fiction, and allowed him to delve into sensual lyricism, humour, chaos and darkness in his music.

Luke has created dance works for the New Music Biennial (performed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games) and circus works together with long time collaborator, aerialist Ilona Jantti. These works display Luke’s belief in pushing new music into areas where it is not usually encountered. Handspun, a contemporary circus work, continues to tour throughout Europe.

In 2014 Luke was signed by IMG Artists following his time as the first Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence (2011-2014). Luke continued his creative partnerships with organisations in 2015 as composer in residence at the Foundling Museum, the first composer to occupy the position since Handel.

Collaborations are central to Luke’s work and this has led to new works with conductors and soloists Vladimir Jurowski and David Pyatt and ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Luke is currently working on two new operas, one for the Perth Festival and another for Opera Philadelphia, with premieres in 2018 and 2021 respectively. Alongside his operatic work Luke is working on a concerto for Double Bass and a Song Cycle for Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia.

Luke is a former student of Wolfgang Rihm, George Benjamin and Detlev Muller-Siemens. Read more HERE.



To beging the new year I headed straigh for Helsinki, as you do. I went to the frozen north to work with my long time collaborator and contemporary circus artist extraordinaire Ilona Jantti, on a new work, our third (previous works include, Handspun and Polar). Ilona and I spent the week experimenting with different types of material; both musical and physical. The physical material included trying to find the right circus apparatus we wanted to feature in the piece and then what the quality of the movement would be on these apparatus. Musically I was looking for the type of musical material that blended with the physicality and the apparatus to turn the physical and musical into a transdisciplinary work of multiple elements that combine to make something new, which is far more than the sum of its individual parts.

I can’t go into too much detail as we are still developing the work, and the premiere is a good year away, but we came away from the week with a 13 part structure and I have now come back to London and begun turning my electronic “guide tracks” into new accoustic music. To help me keep the connection to the physical I have videos of each of the 13 sections we developed. As you can probably guess, a work of 13 sections is not going to be a short one. Ilona and I want to make this our most ambitious work both in scale and scope. So the work is going to be approximately 40 minutes long and feature a minimum of 6 performers, 3 circus performers and 3 musicians. The work though may be much larger in terms of it’s instrumentation as some of the commissioners have a large number of musicians that I could use. So I could end up composing the work for 3 soloists and then a larger string section for instance, we will see. If the piece can have a larger and a smaller iteration it can be flexible for touring and larger scale events.

A big thanks goes out to the Arts Council England for funding my trip and my side of this development phase and to Cirko Helsinki for hosting Ilona and I.

Other news since the start of 2018 has been that I have been made a Represented Artist of the Australian Music Centre. I have been an Associated Artist for many years and to now be given represented status is a huge honor. One of the many beifits of this will be that I can list a large portion of my catalogue with the Australian Music Centre, which will make it easier to purchase my music.

Once I have finished drafting a bit more of the new work with Ilona I will put it aside and move back to my Ned Kelly opera, which I will begin orchestrating. It won’t be long till I’m off to Australia for 10 days of development on the opera and a preview event featuring some of the scenes that we will work on in development.

Purchase: The Girls Who Wished to Marry the Stars from NMC, Here.

Macbeth premiered in 2015 at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

To get in touch please contact my agent at IMG. Bridget Canniere.

Chasing The Nose. Mixed classical and jazz ensemble.