Luke Altmann is an APRA and AACTA nominated composer. He studied composition with Peter Brideoake at Adelaide University, where he was awarded the Dr. Ruby Davy Prize and the Alex Burnard Scholarship.
In 2000 he co-founded weekly new music broadcasts at Radio Adelaide, with a special emphasis on the work of South Australian composers, which he continued to produce and present until 2012, gathering a team of presenters including Angus Barnacle, Alex Carpenter, Grahame Dudley, David Harris, Alice Keath, and David John Lang.
Travels to the Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music in 2004, then to a squat in Nijmegen for its anarchic kraak music scene, encouraged Altmann to transform Adelaide's inner-city art studio De la Catessen into a dedicated new music venue upon his return in 2005. As impresario he presented over 200 events there in the next four years, featuring performances by composers and musicians from around the world. Among them were locals Alex Carpenter, David Kotlowy, and Adam Page, composers whose work, along with the dichotomy of his musical experiences in Warsaw and Nijmegen, Altmann cites as influential on the emergence of his own style in works such as Prelude to New York and String Quartet No. 5, and upon his attitude toward music broadly.
Altmann's reputation as a composer rests on two decades of regular appearances on Adelaide's chamber music concert programmes. A member of The Firm since 2005, his works have also been presented by the Barossa International Music Festival, Musica Viva, Soundstream, Sight Specific, COMA, and ABC Classic FM, and by soloists Greta Bradman, Kristian Chong, James Cuddeford, Leigh Harrold, Robert Macfarlane, and Alex Tsiboulski, among others.
In recent years he has emerged as a composer for the screen through his scores for The Leunig Fragments (2019) and Fell (Sydney Film Prize nominee, 2014).
A portrait album of his chamber music, Holy Fools, was recorded by the Benaud Trio and released in 2020. The Australian gave it 5 stars, calling it “a world of extreme fragility and introspection" that "reaches a state of perpetual emotional suspension”.
He lives in Port Adelaide with his partner and their two sons.