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Fri 8.2 | Dust Dances

DEREK BERMEL (b. 1967)

Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity, and considered, “one of the most original voices of American music.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) Recently named Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, he is also Director of Copland House's Cultivate emerging composers’ institute and just concluded a four-year tenure as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Bermel has been called an "eclectic with wide open ears" (Toronto Star) and has become recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series that spotlight the composer as performer. Alongside his international studies of ethnomusicology and orchestration, an ongoing engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language, in which the human voice and its myriad inflections play a primary role. San Francisco Chronicle affirmed, ”In the hands of a composer less assured, all that globe-trotting would seem like affectation; Bermel makes it an artistic imperative." Bermel has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri String Quartet, Music from Copland House and Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (U.K.), violinist Midori, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans among others. His clarinet playing has been hailed by The New York Times as "brilliant," “rhythmically fluid, rich-hued" and "first-rate." The Boston Globe wrote, "There doesn't seem to be anything that Bermel can't do with the clarinet." His many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, American Music Center's Trailblazer Award, and Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and Cary Trust; and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri. His discography features three critically-acclaimed discs including an all-Bermel orchestral recording that includes his clarinet concerto Voices (BMOP/sound). He makes his debut as composer-in-residence at Cabrillo with Dust Dances, performed on Opening Night, August 2, 2013.

Visit Derek Bermel's Website

Photo by: James Pomerantz