Luke Frazier

Founder & Music Director

Luke Frazier believes that the future of orchestral music is breaking down barriers between orchestras and audiences. The most important priority for a modern conductor is not only musical excellence, but also creating diverse and engaging programming that brings communities together through the joy of music. Conductors are a bridge between audiences and orchestras and the responsibility that comes with that is something Luke takes to heart every day.

Luke started The American Pops Orchestra in 2015 to present a broad array of popular and classical music in innovative ways to bring new audiences into the orchestral world. Most recently APO has been featured in more than twelve national broadcasts on PBS with programs ranging from American Roots to a complete re-imagining of the musical WICKED. Artists like Midori, Patti Labelle, Joshua Bell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Josh Groban and so many more have joined the orchestra sharing orchestral music with audiences across the country, completely free of charge.

Creating opportunities for the next generation of music makers and music lovers is always a priority for Luke. Each year Luke spends at least three weeks hosting free elementary school tours as well as finding outstanding college vocalists through APO’s NextGen Vocal Competition. In addition to these special programs, Luke also maintains a busy schedule as a clinician, speaker and panelist for educational organizations across the country.

In addition to Luke’s work with APO and PBS, he maintains a busy schedule as a guest conductor and pianist. Luke is excited to serve as the inaugural Principal Pops Conductor for The National Philharmonic. This season includes appearances in venues from Lincoln Center to The Smithsonian, Feinstein’s/54 Below to The Kravis Center and many more across the country conducting classical and popular music alike.

Luke is fortunate to call many of the world’s most incredible artists both friends and collaborators. Renée Fleming, Chita Rivera, Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein, Leslie Jordan, Sandi Patty, Kristin Chenoweth, Jamie Barton, Paulo Szot, Vanessa Williams, Laura Osnes, Jacqueline Schwab, Arturo Sandoval, Rita Moreno and so many more have joined Luke onstage and on film for original programs of all varieties.

Favorite APO Moment

Performing at Mount Vernon for United in Song in the middle of the pandemic. We defied all the odds to create a show that was one of a kind and so moving to the musicians and the audience - truly unforgettable!

Favorite Pop Music Song

Four-way tie: "Wheel of Fortune" by Kay Starr; "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Aretha and Simon and Garfunkel; "Once Upon a Time" by Frank Sinatra; and "Wildflowers" by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt.