Raymond Luedeke (b. New York, NY, 11 November 1941), a North American composer, clarinetist, and educator, became a naturalized citizen of Canada in 1988, but returned to New York in 2010. Luedeke earned a Bachelor of Music in music history from the Eastman School of Music in 1966, a Master of Music in composition from the Catholic University of America in 1971, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Northwestern University in 1976. His composition teachers include George Crumb, George T. Jones, and Alan Stout. As a clarinetist, he was briefly principal clarinet with the Colorado Philharmonic, studied at the Vienna Academy of Music on a Fulbright Grant (1966-1967), and then played clarinet in the U.S. Air Force Band (1967-1971). Luedeke served as a composition and clarinet professor at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point (1971-1974), followed by a similar appointment at the University of Missouri, Kansas City (1976-81). In 1981, he became associate principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony, where he stayed until his retirement in 2010.
Recordings of his music include Shadow Music with the Louisville Orchestra, The Transparency of Time with pianist Andre LaPlante and the Winnipeg Symphony, The Moon in the Labyrinth and The Lyre of Orpheus with harpist Judy Loman and the Orford String Quartet, Brass Quintet with the New Mexico Brass Quintet, Circus Music with the Hannaford Street Silver Band, and Ah, Matsushima! with violin/marimba duo Jacques and Michael Israelievitch. Quartetto Gelato has recorded Luedeke's arrangement of Maurice Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin and has performed it worldwide. He has received numerous grants and awards, among them prizes from the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, the Percussive Arts Society, the International Horn Society, and Northwestern University. His contest winning orchestral Fanfare, opened Toronto's Thomson Hall and his overture The North Wind's Gift was performed throughout Europe in the 1991 tour of the Toronto Symphony. Six Canadian orchestras jointly commissioned Luedeke's Tales of the Netsilik for narrator and orchestra.
Luedeke is also an experienced librettist and has collaborated with playwright Sean Dixon for his first opera, Wild Flowers, produced at The Guelph Spring Festival. Subsequently, he worked with director/dramaturge Tom Diamond to write the libretto for his second opera, The Magical Singing Drum, and the script for The Art of Love/Into the Labyrinth for two pianos, visuals and actor. In summer 2007, Leudeke established the music theater company, Voice Afire Pocket Opera and Cabaret, and produced three shows: Viva Pablo Neruda (I Confess, I Have Lived) based on the poetry of Pablo Neruda; Butterfly's Trouble, a re-invention of Puccini's opera; and Close Embrace relives the Golden Age of Argentine Tango.