Lukáš Sommer (born in 1984 in České Budějovice, Czech Republic) is a leading personality in the current generation of young composers. He graduated from the conservatory in České Budějovice, the Prague Conservatory and the Music and Dance Faculty in Prague, Czech Republic. He devotes himself completely to his composition work and concert activity.
His orchestral compositions have been performed with great success both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Thorns In a Snowdrift – cantata based on texts of the noted Czech poet Bohuslav Reynek, Letter to My Father – concerto for flute and orchestra, Judith – symphony for organ and violin orchestra a. o.). He focuses on chamber music, often written on commission for noted artists, such as Epoque Quartet, Sedláček’s Quartet, Prague Guitar Quartet or Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble (two violin quartets, Chicago Steps – guitar quartet, Sonata for Flute and Piano, Dances and Sorrows – oboe quintet). Since 2015, Sommer has composed several vocal compositions on commission for opera and vocal music ensembles, such as The Prague Singers, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Studio Prague, Opera Diversa (Mudeltime – opera/cartoon, The Alchemist – story for mixed choir and ensemble, Missa Brevis, Sinbad the Sailor – musical for children).
He has written compositions on commission for well-known music festivals, such as Prague Spring (Letter to My Father – concerto for flute and piano), Opera Barga (partita for piano), Festival delle Nazioni (Two Days in Delhi), Concerto Bohemia (Monolith – concerto for brass orchestra and percussion), Concentus Moraviae (Coffee with Ennio M.), Latin-American Guitar Festival Chicago (Travel Diary- for guitar), Znojmo Music (Concerto Moraviae – for violin and orchestra) and others.
He cooperates with famous Czech and foreign artists, such as the British composer and oboist Sir Nicholas Daniel, French flutist Carlo Jans, British-Australian composer Jessica Cottis, the director of the brass department of Colorado State University Rebecca Phillips, pianist Gaia Sokoli and many others. Among the Czech artists he has cooperated with are the Czech violinist Pavel Sporcl, harpist Jana Bouskova or the oboist Vilem Veverka. As a composer he worked with The Košice Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphonic Orchestra, Cameristi di Fiorentina, The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Prague Philharmonia, Sedunum String Orchestra, Civitas Ensemble, Solaris 3, Colorado Chamber Winds, C’mon Ensemble or Epoque Quartet.
Lukas Sommer bases his works on the tradition of the European school of composition, which he enriches with elements of untraditional composing techniques. He enjoys going beyond the borders of classical music and including ethnic, jazz and classical music influences. He embraces the mood of his audience and his programmes create an integrated experience set in that certain place and time, often using improvisation and dialogue with the audience.
In 2017 his song La fine del tempo (End of Time) won the first prize in the international composing competition Concorso Novaro. Jury chairman Krzystof Penderecki also awarded it the Critics’ Prize and the Audience Prize.
In 2018 – on commission of The Vision 97 foundation – he wrote Mudletime, an opera for the occasion of 100 years of the independent Czech state. His composition Gala Violin, written on commission for Pavel Sporcl, was nominated for the composition of the year at the Classic Prague Awards.
Lukas Sommer is also an active music arranger, founder and executive director of the arranger division Tone Point, which has realized international commercial projects for the American, Japanese and German markets. The group’s realm is full-length orchestra projects in pop and film music.
A distinctive branch of Sommer’s work is his guitar recitals, which he has presented on many Czech and international stages since 2012. The compositions are often inspired by specific places (Por Caminos de Sagunto, Savana, Travel Journal – cycle for guitar), by contemporary poets (Windlessness, Regina Coeli, Did We Exist?) or his personal life (Don’t Leave Me… The Lullaby for Tysi, The Second Letter to My Father). The artist has regular concerts at festivals in Chicago, New York, New Delhi, Nurnberg, Milan, Florence, Manilla and many others. Because of his ability to switch genres, he is often invited to participate in improvisational projects with theatre, pantomime or music- therapy elements.
In 2014, William Recording released Sommer’s author’s album Savana !, which is also a tribute to Czech guitar manufacturers. It is the only classical guitar album where different instruments are played, presenting a unique probe of guitar sounds.
In 2019 the Barenreitr publishing house published his textbook “I want to be a guitar player”. The book is based on an open approach and the child’s creativity. Children can finish the author’s pieces of music by adding their own ending, rhythm or melody.
This year Lukas Sommer debuted at the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington and in May 2020 he will continue with a recital in Carnegie Hall (NYC).
In his leisure time, Lukas likes to travel to abandoned places where he draws inspiration for his music. He is interested in spiritual development, eastern philosophy and meditation. Lukas is passionate about guitars of all kinds, for which he travels to different countries, and his compositions are often written for specific instruments from the workshops of unknown guitar makers.