Dr. Luke Alexander Ratcliffe received both his BM and MM in Piano Performance from George Mason University, graduating magna cum laude with each degree. Subsequently, he received his DMA in Piano Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music, graduating summa cum laude. While at CIM, Luke earned a concentration in Piano Pedagogy and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Music Theory, Aural Skills, Keyboard Skills, and Piano Pedagogy, both in Cleveland and at George Mason University.
Luke completed his Doctoral Thesis and Lecture Recital, “Capturing the Divine”, in April 2023, advised by renowned musicologist Dr. Susan McClary. The thesis and lecture recital focused on the composer Einojuhani Rautavaara’s use of religious imagery and symbolism in his corpus of piano music. Luke has taken a particular interest in the work of Rautavaara and is the first person to perform his complete works for solo piano.

As a Performer

Luke is a professionally trained concert pianist and pedagogue with more than a decade of performance, teaching, and recruiting experience at all levels. He is internationally recognized and lauded in the music field, along with graduate-level credentials and a concentration in pedagogy, and is the winner and laureate of multiple national and international piano competitions. Luke has extensive lecturing experience in addition to being a sought-after collaborator, frequently premiering new works and regularly working with renowned composers.

Luke was a Judson Artist-in-Residence from 2021 to 2023 and additionally received the Arthur Loesser Memorial Prize in Piano upon graduating from The Cleveland Institute of Music. He additionally gave many solo recitals, a graduate lecture recital, and many chamber music concerts in Mixon Hall and Kulas Hall. Through the Judson Artist-in-Residence program, Luke performed extensively, offering celebrated solo recitals and chamber music collaborations during his residency. More recently, he was a concerto soloist with the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra.

As a composer, Luke has worked with Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Kopit. Luke wrote an original score for Kopit’s Off-Broadway play Chamber Music, which was shown during the 2017 season at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Luke has been a part of the New Sound Collective, an ensemble of performers and composers who debut new works and play contemporary music. During this time, Luke composed chamber
music, songs, and arrangements for various ensembles. The New Sound Collective was nominated for a Wammie Award in early 2020 for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Artist. Luke has worked closely with various composers and in the contemporary music world, frequently giving debuts and premieres of new works for the piano. During his time at CIM, Luke has performed in the CIM New Music Ensemble and the Percussion Ensemble, often playing new and lesser-known works. Additionally, he is an avid transcriber and has made arrangements for various works for the piano. Notably, he aurally transcribed Boris Arapov’s fifth piano sonata, giving the American premiere of it in the Fall of 2019.

At Levine

Luke joined Levine’s piano faculty in 2023.

I have had a special relationship with Levine since my earliest musical studies. I attended several of the summer chamber music workshops and took part in many different chamber music ensembles and courses throughout the academic year from 13 to 18 years old. These years were hugely formative for me since I learned so much about chamber music and rehearsal techniques and was exposed to an enormous amount of literature that has continued to shape my interests and activities. 

I credit Levine with giving me such a strong foundation and enthusiasm for music and a desire to learn more. Being around such brilliant faculty members who were always organized, prepared, and invested in the students helped me grow in my professional attitude. Further, Levine provided many opportunities for me to participate in numerous master classes and concerts.

Dr. Luke Alexander Ratcliffe

More About Luke

When not busy teaching or performing piano, Luke is an avid reader, loves studying history and languages, and enjoys the outdoors. Learn more about Luke on his website.