The music of Luke Dahn has been called "terrific, awfully good" (Sequenza 21) and "blessed with a vigorous rhythmic sense" (Fanfare), and has been performed by groups such as the Moscow Conservatory Studio for New Music, the League of Composers/ISCM, the NODUS Ensemble, the NEXTET Ensemble, Composers Inc., the University of Iowa Center for New Music and the violin/piano duo Wolfgang David and David Gompper. Venues have included Carnegie Hall, Rachmaninoff Hall (Moscow), the Estonia Academy of Music (Tallinn), the Frankfurter KuenstlerKlub, Harvard University’s Memorial Church, the Miami ISCM Festival Series and the N.E.O.N. (Nevada Encounters of New Music) Festival at which he was awarded the Max Di Julio Prize. Several of his works are available on the Albany label.
Dahn earned graduate degrees in composition from the University of Iowa and Western Michigan University. Dahn teaches composition and music theory at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where he also serves as chair of the music department. In addition, he is co–founder and serves as co–artistic director of Ensemble Périphérie, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the League of Composers/ISCM.
Complete Bio



Buffalo Dance for alto saxophone and piano was named winner of the 6th Biennial J.D. Robb International Composers’ Competition 2014. Originally written for world renowned saxophonist Kenneth Tse, Buffalo Dance will be featured on the 2015 J.D. Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico on March 22–25, 2015.

On February 18, 2015, a collaborative mini–concert event called the "Cruci Project" will take place at the Northwestern College Day of Learning in Community. For the project, which I conceived and organized, six composers and several poets were invited to compose short new works and write new poems based on the same set of prints depicting the Crucifixion by artist Eric Robinson. The compositions, all of which were written for flute, alto sax, and cello, include my own Davon kam der Tod so bald.

Penumbrae and Traces will be performed on April 17, 2015 at West Virginia University. I have the honor of being guest composer for the week and of being able to work with the student composers at WVU.

Ensemble Périphérie made its October Carnegie Hall debut on October 26, 2013 following successful Spring 2013 concert season which featured works by David Gompper, Louis Karchin, Joseph Dangerfield, and Irina Dubkova. My own Calder Cadences was also featured on this program. The Carnegie concert was part of the DCINY Distinguished Concert Artists Series.

In June 2013, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the League of Composers/ISCM. It will be an honor to serve in this capacity!

Penumbrae received its New York premiere by the League of Composers Chamber Players on February 24, 2013 at the Tenri Cultural Institute.

New content added to website includes my recently completed (October 2012) tenure paper on musical spatiality and the emotionally–engaging practice of musical worship, and a chart indexing the chromatic harmony in Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, complete with Italian, French, German and Neapolitan (ice cream) flags!

Also new are four videos featuring excerpts from Bach’s cantatas. These videos were created for a lecture entitled "’Music that Drives Away the Devil’: the Catechetical Music of J. S. Bach" given at Northwestern College on March 21, 2012. Also added is new materials on my Course Materials page.

I was named the 2011 recipient of the Northwestern College Teaching Excellence Award! In other Northwesternly news, I have recently accepted the appointment of Chair of the Music Department.

The premiere performance of the orchestral version of Confessions of Saint Augustine was given in the spring of 2012 by soprano Michelle Crouch and the Coe College Orchestra, Joseph Dangerfield conducting. Many thanks to them for a fine performance!


Bach Research News

The first draft of my new edition of the Bach chorales is nearing completion and will be available soon! This new edition has several advantages over the commonly–used Riemenschneider edition — each chorale is presented with original German text and with detailed contextual information. To learn more, go here.

A new sortable table indexing the Bach chorales is now available here. A few sorting kinks are being ironed out, but the table is quite useful as is.

Visit my Bach Page for more Bach stuff!

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