CLARINET / COMPOSER
Two-time Grammy nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has been internationally recognized for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity.
Bermel brings his "brilliant," "rhythmically fluid, rich-hued" (New York Times) clarinet playing to concerto and chamber repertoire. He was soloist alongside Wynton Marsalis in his own Migration Series and has performed his clarinet concerto, Voices, with dozens of orchestras worldwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Orchestra. Founding clarinetist of Music from Copland House, Bermel's chamber music appearances also include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Borromeo and Pacifica string quartets. His collaborations cover an eclectic musical landscape, from jazz luminaries Paquito D'Rivera and Luciana Souza, to virtuoso violinist Midori.
As a composer, Bermel is acclaimed for music that is “intricate, witty, clear-spoken, tender, and extraordinarily beautiful [and] covers an amazing amount of ground, from the West African rhythms of Dust Dances to the Bulgarian folk strains of Thracian Echoes, to the shimmering harmonic splendor of Elixir. He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Seattle, Saint Louis, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, La Jolla Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Eighth Blackbird, Horszowski Trio, Guarneri Quartet, Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations. Honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, and the American Music Center's Trailblazer Award.
Bermel holds B.A. and D.M.A. degrees from Yale University and the University of Michigan. Notable among his composition teachers are William Albright, Louis Andriessen, William Bolcom, Henri Dutilleux, and Michael Tenzer.