Derek Bermel is a clarinetist, multi-faceted composer and Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Bermel has been widely recognized for his creative and theatrical approach to composition and performance. At the core of Bermel's compositional voice is a lifelong engagement with a wide range of musical cultures from all over the world, largely focusing on the the unique qualities human voice and it's inflections. Bermel is also recognized as a dynamic curator of concert series that highlight the composer as performer.
He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, La Jolla Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and eighth blackbird among others, and his many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, and Guggenheim & Fulbright Fellowships, among other accolades.
Bermel joins Jennifer Koh to discuss musical interpretation of vocal phrases and of the dichotomy between question & answer, and the idea of separating gesture and expression of speech from the semantic meaning of words and conversation.
Shared Madness with violinist Jennifer Koh – Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year – explores the shared creative space between composer and performer, and what virtuosity for the storied instrument means in the 21st century. The series unfolds over 30 short episodes which combine conversation with world-premiere performance audio.