Music faculty

Luke Dahn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Music

Ph.D., University of Iowa
M.M., Western Michigan University
B.M., Houston Baptist University

DMH 107


An active composer, Dr. Dahn has written compositions heard throughout the United States and abroad, with recent performances given by groups and soloists such as the Moscow Conservatory Studio for New Music, the NODUS Ensemble, the NEXTET Ensemble, Composers Inc., the University of Iowa Center for New Music, and saxophonist Kenneth Tse. Venues have included Rachmaninoff Hall (Moscow), the Estonia Academy of Music (Tallinn), the Frankfurter KuenstlerKlub, the 14th International Saxophone Meeting (Slovenia), Harvard University’s Memorial Church, the Miami ISCM Festival Series and the N.E.O.N. (Nevada Encounters of New Music) Festival. Several of his works have been recorded on the Albany label, included his quintet "Penumbrae," winner of the 2010 League Composers/ISCM Composers Competition.

The 2011 recipient of Northwestern's Teaching Excellence Award, Dahn earned a doctorate in music composition from the University of Iowa, where he served as visiting assistant professor. He teaches music theory and composition courses at Northwestern.


    Publications and presentations

    • Penumbrae: Albany label; entitled "Spirals: American Music in Moscow." Recorded by the Moscow Conservatory's Studio for New Music ensemble.
    • Downward Courses: Albany label; entitled "MAPP: Midwest American Piano Project." Recorded by pianist Stacey Barelos.
    • Edges: Albany label; entitled "Into the Future." Recorded May 2006 by the University of Iowa's Center for New Music for the production of a CD commemorating the CNM's 40th anniversary.
    • Prolepsis: performed by saxophonist Chris Anderson for a CD dedicated to saxophone music for distribution at the 2006 national North American Saxophone Alliance conference.
    • Two Pieces for Children: published by the Western Michigan University MTNA chapter and presented at the 2003 National MTNA conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Professional experience

    • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
    • Assistant for the University of Iowa Center for New Music


    • Society of Composers, Inc.
    • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
    • The College Music Society
    • Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honor Society)


    • Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 2011
    • Penumbrae one of three pieces selected from 75 submitted for presentation at the New Music Miami ISCM Festival Series, May 2009
    • Grant from Northwestern College for recording project with the Moscow Conservatory, summer 2008
    • Acceptance of Downward Courses to the Society of Composers national conference in February 2008
    • Invitation to New Music Conference at Western Illinois University, March 2007