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Luke Byrne : Pedagogical Artist


Photo of Luke Byrne

Photo: Blueprint Studios

Luke Byrne was born in Sydney and, despite the rise in real estate prices, has continued to live there ever since. He studied music, mathematics and performance studies at the University of Sydney. Luke did not formally study composition but acknowledges the influence the Sydney University Music Department would later have on his own music, particularly through learning from Winsome Evans.

Luke works in musical theatre as a pianist and musical director. Theatre credits include The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom (Company B/Sydney Festival), The World's Wife (Melbourne Theatre Company), Assassins (Watchthis, nominated for Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction) and Hamlet (Belvoir St Theatre). Luke was the Musical Assistant to the Director for the Australia National Day concerts at Shanghai World Expo, and Children's Chorus Master for Opera Australia's Christmas Capers and Sydney Symphony's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Luke was also the musical director and principal arranger for Tyran Parke's albums Sunday in the Parke and Compositions, premiered at the 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Luke plays, conducts and composes for choirs including Sydney Children's Choir, Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and, previously, for the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus and the Australian Girls Choir. Luke was an accompanist, conductor and composer at MLC School from 2009 to 2015, and an accompanist and composer-in-residence for the Moorambilla Festival from 2007 to 2012.

In 2012 Luke was composer in residence for Sydney Children's Choir, culminating in Wise Men Three for the Voices of Angels concert (broadcast on ABC Radio) and Powerhouse Collection, a suite of pieces for children's choir based on significant exhibits at the Powerhouse Museum and Shaun Tan's Oopsatoreum exhibition. Other compositional highlights include Hydra for Sydney Youth Orchestra, Sydney Brass, Taikoz and Moorambilla Voices, Silent Circles for Synergy Percussion, Continuum Sax, MLC String Orchestra and Moorambilla 'Maxed Out' Project, and Phoenix for MLC School's 2013 Opera House Concert.

2014 saw the completion of Luke's largest scale work to date, the musical theatre work Between the Sea and Sky. Luke wrote the book, lyrics and music for this work, which was commissioned by MLC School. Luke's most recent composition is Storm Bird for the Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children's Choir, composed in collaboration with Cairns elder Gudju Gudju and incorporating Yidinji songlines.


Luke Byrne — current to April 2015

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Kites : treble choir with piano (2012) Commissioned as part of the 2012 Composer-in-Residence program, in association with the Powerhouse Museum. Composed for the Paul Jarman and Dan Walker Choirs.
Digital sheet music sample The number one train : for unison treble choir and piano (2012) Commissioned as part of the 2012 Sydney Children's Choir Composer-in-Residence program, in association with the Powerhouse Museum. Composed for the Paul Stanhope, Michael Atherton and Joseph Twist Choirs.
Digital sheet music sample Travelling companion : treble choir with piano (2012) Commissioned as part of the 2012 Composer-in-Residence program, in association with the Powerhouse Museum. Composed for the Elena Kats-Chernin and Stephen Leek Choirs.
Digital sheet music sample Tengo : a Spanish lesson, for treble choir and piano (2010) Commissioned for the Moorambilla Boys Choir and Tango Oz, for performance at the 2010 Moorambilla Festival.