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Derek Bermel

Derek Bermel

Derek Bermel is American Composers Orchestra's Artistic Director – the senior composer in ACO's artistic and programming leadership. Previously, Bermel served as ACO's Artistic Advisor, helping to launch ACO's innovative Orchestra Underground series. Bermel is also Director of Copland House's emerging composers institute Cultivate, served as Composer-in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music, and served for four years as Artist-in-Residence at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. A Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist, Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity. His engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. He's recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series that spotlight the composer as performer, and his work has been performed by major artists across the globe. He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, New Jersey, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's New Century Chamber and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri and JACK String Quartets, Music from Copland House and Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Midori, ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble and Veenfabriek (Netherlands), among others. ACO has commissioned and premiered many of his orchestral works, including Elixir, The Migration Series, Voices, and A Shout, A Whisper, A Trace, and Bermel is an alumnus of ACO's New Music Readings program. 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; 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: an all-Bermel orchestral recording that includes the Grammy-nominated performance of his clarinet concerto Voices, (BMOP/sound); Soul Garden, his small ensemble/solo music (New World/CRI); and his most recent disc, Canzonas Americanas, with Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe).