Luke Schwartz is a composer and guitarist based in New York City. He has been recognized as "Best Guitarist" by Reindeer Records (regional; Portland, ME/Central Florida); composition awards include multiple recognitions from ASCAP, in addition to New Music Forum (San Francisco), Queens Council of the Arts (New York), and the Arts Studio Funding Grant (New York). Schwartz is an active composer of music for film, media, and the concert hall. As the founder of the Quiet City Ensemble—a NYC based experimental string/percussion ensemble—his work has explored the cross genre relationship between determinate and improvised music. Schwartz received a bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies/Music Theory and a master's degree in Music Composition (Columbia University/CUNY/University of South FL), and has worked with a number of renowned musicians, including Jeff Berlin, Stephan Crump, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Jim McNeely, Kenny Wollesen, and Glenn Branca. Bills have been shared with artists as diverse as Leni Stern, Ron Anderson, Nels Cline and Cyro Baptista.
Schwartz has appeared internationally as a composer and guitarist at The Stone (NYC), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), Bang on a Can Marathon (NYC), NMF 10th Annual Festival of Contemporary Music (Berkeley), Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (Fort Myers), Miami's 12 Nights Electronic Music & Arts Festival (Miami), Miami Dade College's On Stage Series (Miami), Musées de la Ville (Strasbourg, France), Kampnagel (Hamburg, Germany), Volksbuhne (Berlin), Melkweg (Amsterdam), Le Temps Machine (Tours, France), The Kitchen (NYC), Univ. of Mary Washington's 2nd Annual Electro-acoustic Barn Dance (Fredericksburg), All Florida Student Composer's Festival (Tampa), Emerging Paradigms Conference (Tampa), Sun-coast Music Education Research Symposium (Tampa), Rhymes with Opera's Music Salon (NYC), Vaudeville Park (NYC), ABC No Rio (NYC), The Firehouse Space (NYC), Spectacle Theater (NYC), Subterranean Art House (Berkeley), USF Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa), Salvador Dali Museum (St. Petersburg), New College Performance Series (Sarasota), The Bitter End (NYC), and Mount Vernon Music Space (Baltimore) among numerous other venues .
He is currently a member The Glenn Branca Ensemble, in addition to the NYC based groups Quiet City Ensemble, Hive Trio, FYRN Bowed Guitar Ensemble, and Grease Trap. Additionally, Schwartz leads his own trio, presenting his own compositions amongst unique arrangements of selections that run the gamut from traditional American roots music to contemporary sub-genres of jazz, classical and experimental music. He is on the music faculty at Kaufman Music Center, and served as assistant professor of music at Columbia University from 2015 to 2017. Additionally, he has taught Music Theory, Composition, Aural Skills, Guitar Ensemble and instrumental music at the University of South Florida and Queens College, and directs the electric guitar ensemble at Special Music School in New York City's Lincoln Center.
Schwartz has participated in projects made possible by Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Legislature, and National Endowment for the Arts.