Luke Stence


Hometown: Austin, TX

Alma maters: Manhattan School of Music, Yale University

Instagram: @lukestencil

Photo by Matt Dine


Awards: Homer Mensch Award, Manhattan School of Music, 2014

Appearances: Teatro Nuovo Orchestra, 2019; New Haven Symphony; Talea Ensemble; Bard Music Festival, 2018; Chelsea Music Festival, NYC, 2014, 2018; Next Festival of Emerging Artists, NYC, 2017–18; Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme, Aldeburgh, UK, 2016; Music Academy of the West, 2015–16; Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, 2014; National Repertory Orchestra, 2012–13; Round Top Music Festival, 2011


What is your earliest memory of classical music? Growing up I had an audiobook of Beethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol, which inspired me to take piano lessons. For a second grade presentation I dressed up as Beethoven and played the right hand part of Für Elise on the piano. Playing up the composer’s deafness, I had a makeshift ear trumpet and would yell “HUH?!” every time a classmate asked me a question.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century? Concerts should be shorter than they typically are. If concerts were only an hour long without intermission they would be more digestible to audiences.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? I enjoy playing music written by living composers, especially in collaborative environments. It is exciting to bring new music to life!

Favorite non-classical musician or band: The Talking Heads

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Believe it or not, I would want to play the viola.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I would be an archaeologist.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: In my free time I enjoy drawing with charcoal.