Luke Acerra is an American cellist, composer and educator currently residing in Graz, Austria.
Luke is a passionate solo performer, having attended competitive masterclasses such as Keshet Eilon Master Course in Israel, where he received instruction from Amit Peled and Hillel Zori. In addition, he has participated in masterclasses with world renowned cellists Jens Peter Mainz, Troels Svane and Franz Helmerson. Equally passionate as a chamber musician, Luke performed Caesar Franck’s Piano Quintet with world-renowned soloist, Ilya Kaler in the summer of 2022 at Kehset Eilon Music Festival in Israel. Other chamber music festivals attended include Green Mountain, Madeline Island, and the Encore Chamber Music Festival while having worked with members of the Pacifica, Cavani, Chiara, Jupiter, Ariana, Pacifica and Ariel Quartet.
As an ardent performer of new music, Luke served as solo cellist in the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the NOTUS—Indiana University’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and has premiered numerous works by living composers. As a composer, Luke has written for solo instruments, voice, chamber groups, as well as orchestra and music for film. His compositions have been performed in the United States as well as festivals in France and Israel. His most recent composition for violin and cello duo will be premiered at the Erben Musikfestival in Munich by the Kodály String Duo in June 2023.
Luke is a dedicated teacher, having worked for Indiana University’s String Academy as assistant to Susan Moses, as well as having received string pedagogy training from Indiana University Professors Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig. Luke has taught private cello lessons since he was in high school, and has experience teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced cello students in English as well as German.
His primary cello mentors include Johannes Krebs, Brandon Vamos and Peter Stumpf and composition mentors include Don Freund, Claude Baker, P.Q. Phan, Aaron Travers, Bruce Polay and Daniel Godsil.
Luke received a double bachelors degree at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in cello performance and music composition. Following his undergraduate studies, he pursued a performance diploma on a full-ride scholarship while teaching Aural Skills as a graduate teaching assistant.
In addition to his focus in cello performance and composition, Luke is a proficient pianist and organist, having worked as an accompanist for voice students at Knox College, as well as having played in Churches and accompanying and directing church choirs since he was in high school.
Luke will finish his masters degree in cello performance from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz under the instruction of Johannes Krebs in June of 2023.