"Composer Derek Bermel may not be a household name yet, but if there is any justice in the music world, he soon will be…’
Chicago Tribune (Michael Cameron), January 2005
Faber Music is delighted to announce extended representation of the American composer, DEREK BERMEL, in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. We have previously represented Bermel for the UK and Eire through our agency agreement with his publisher, Peermusic Classical in New York. They continue to represent him for all other territories.
Derek Bermel (b.1967, USA) first came to our attention when he was nominated by Nicholas Maw for the Faber Music Millennium Series (for which he wrote his Natural Selection for baritone and ensemble). He has been hailed by colleagues, critics, and audiences across the globe as a composer of chamber, symphonic, dance, theatre, and pop works, and his versatility and virtuosity as a clarinettist, conductor, and jazz and rock musician.
His hands-on experience with music of cultures around the world has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. He studied ethnomusicology and orchestration in Jerusalem, and later travelled to Bulgaria to study the Thracian folk style, Dublin to study uillean pipes, and Ghana to study the Lobi xylophone. He trained at Yale University, at the University of Michigan with William Bolcom, in Amsterdam with Louis Andriessen and in Tanglewood with Henri Dutilleux.
His music has featured regularly at major festivals in the USA and Europe. He has been commissioned widely by organisations such as the National Symphony, St. Louis SO, New Jersey SO, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen Festival, Gilmore Festival, Eighth Blackbird, Tanglewood Music Center, American Composers Orchestra, Albany SO, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Jazz Xchange (chor. Sheron Wray), and cellist Fred Sherry.
A portrait CD of his chamber music, Soul Garden, was released on the CRI (now New World Records) label in 2002, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will release an orchestral disc in 2006.
In the UK, the Philharmonia Orchestra present an all-Bermel concert as part of their ‘Music of Today’ series on 4 April 2006. It will include the UK premieres of his Soul Garden, Twin Trio and Thracian Sketches for solo clarinet. Bermel himself will perform the latter. In 2002 he performed his clarinet concerto, Voices with the BBC SO, a performance later broadcast twice on BBC Radio 3. The BBC SO also gave the UK premiere of his Dust Dances in March 2005.
As clarinettist, Bermel has performed his Voices with the American Composers Orchestra, the BBC SO and Los Angeles PO (conducted by John Adams), amongst others. He has also premiered dozens of new works in appearances as soloist throughout the USA and Europe. Bermel is co-artistic director and co-founder of the Dutch-American interdisciplinary ensemble TONK. He is also the founding clarinettist of Music from Copland House, a creative centre for American Music. As an educator Bermel founded the New York Youth Symphony’s “Making Score” series of seminars for young composers.
Works in progress include a musical Loving Family with librettist Wendy S. Walters, produced by Music Theatre Group, and directed by Kelly Robinson; Turning Variations for piano and orchestra (Indianapolis SO at the American Pianists Association National Conference – April 2006) and Harmonica (American Composers Orchestra/Steven Sloane – Carnegie Hall, May 2006). He will be resident composer at the Civitella Ranieri in Umbria from August-October 2005, and is the subject of a composer/performer series at Symphony Space, NY in December.
In autumn 2006, Bermel will begin a three-year residency with the American Composers Orchestra in New York. The residency is supported by Music Alive, a partnership program of Meet The Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League.
Key works include:
Skides (2003) – orchestra, 17 mins
Thracian Echoes (2002) – orchestra, 20 mins
Three Rivers (2001) – large ensemble, 13 mins
Natural Selection (2000) – baritone and ensemble, 15 mins
Voices (1997) – clarinet and orchestra, 18 mins
Dust Dances (1994) – orchestra, 10 mins
Tied Shifts (2004) – chamber ensemble of 6 players, 15 mins
Soul Garden (2000) – viola and string quintet, 13 mins
Turning (1995) – piano, 16 mins
For perusal materials and a list of works please contact the Promotion Department in the first instance, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected Forthcoming Performances
(US tour by Eighth Blackbird)
20.10.05, La Jolla, CA; 21.10, Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles, CA; 23.10, Stanford, CA; 25.10, Univ of California at Davis; 27.10, Iowa City, IA; 29.10, South Bend, IN; 30.10, Cleveland, OH
16.2.06, Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, NY, USA: Alarm Will Sound/Alan Pierson
19.2.06, Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, NY, USA: Derek Bermel
Soul Garden; Twin Trio & Thracian Echoes
4.4.06, ‘Music of Today’, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK: members of the Philharmonia Orchestra/Derek Bermel (cl)