Photo by Richard Bowditch

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Derek Bermel, composer/clarinet/speaker

Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel’s engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. He has collaborated with a dizzyingly eclectic array of artists and his commissions include the Pittsburgh, National, Boston, St. Louis, and Pacific symphonies; Los Angeles Philharmonic; New Century, Los Angeles, and Saint Paul chamber orchestras; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, Tanglewood, Eighth Blackbird, ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble/Veenfabriek (Netherlands), the Guarneri and JACK string quartets, and violinist Midori. He has been recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series and his many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, American Music Center's Trailblazer Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

As a clarinetist, he has performed on four continents in a wide range of repertoire from Mozart to Bolcom, as orchestral soloist and chamber musician. Founding Clarinetist of the Music from Copland House ensemble, he is Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra, Director of Copland House’s CULTIVATE emerging composer’s institute, Curator of Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and was Artist-in-Residence at Princeton’s Institute for Advance Study.

Bermel’s discography includes Voices, his award-winning clarinet concerto, two chamber discs, and three discs with the Music from Copland House Ensemble. Forthcoming is a disc of his orchestral music with the Albany Symphony for Naxos. His music theater work Golden Motors with Wendy S. Walters received a 2019 BRIClab residence and he is the Seattle Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence for the 2018-19 season.