About this Artist
Luke McEndarfer is a Grammy® Award-winning American conductor and one of the most compelling visionaries in the classical music world today. His dynamic career spanning over two decades has been shaped by an unwavering commitment to ambitious innovation, artistic creativity, and musical excellence. Currently, he serves as Artistic Director, President, and CEO of the National Children’s Chorus, one of the fastest-growing and most successful youth arts organizations in the United States. His conducting collaborations include work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Youth Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera Company, New York City Master Chorale, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, Opera Parallèle, Kronos String Quartet, and Stephen Petronio Dance Company. Over the years, he has prepared choruses and soloists for Gustavo Dudamel, Grant Gershon, James Conlon, Stephen Layton, David Alan Miller, Ibrahim Maalouf, John Rutter, Helmuth Rilling, David Willcocks, Eric Whitacre, and the late Paul Salamunovich. To date, his premiere conducting performances include music by Morten Lauridsen, Sharon Farber, James Wright, Sarah Quartel, Stephen Cohn, Thomas Hewitt Jones, Daniel Brewbaker, Sage Lewis, Shawn Kirchner, Paul Gibson, Rufus Wainwright, and Nico Muhly.
Though the National Children’s Chorus has been his primary focus the last several years, McEndarfer’s background and experience encompass numerous conducting appearances on both coasts featuring adult choral and symphonic masterworks. Equally at home in the studio, he has worked on several motion picture soundtracks, such as Escape from Tomorrow, Snowmen, and Paramount Pictures’ feature film Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy. Television credits include conducting performances and studio appearances with CNN, CBS, ABC, and Fox, as well as NBC’s former Tonight Show with Jay Leno. McEndarfer has also conducted in performance with Josh Groban, opened for John Legend, and been featured on Entertainment Tonight for the Oscars in 2014.
Since the age of six, McEndarfer has studied piano extensively, winning competitions and musical honors with the Music Teachers’ Association of California. He is a two-time graduate of UCLA, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and a Master of Music degree in conducting, the latter with full scholarship under the tutelage of Donald Neuen. Studying privately, McEndarfer has been the conducting pupil of Kenneth Kiesler and Marianne Ploger at the University of Michigan, Lucinda Carver at USC, Simon Carrington at Yale, and the late Paul Salamunovich.