May 23, 2013

For Immediate Release
Elizabeth Dworkin
Dworkin & Company


Derek Bermel




New York, NY -- At a benefit dinner last night in Tribeca, the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) announced the appointment of Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel as Artistic Director for a three year term, beginning with the 2013-14 season. As Artistic Director, he will shape ACO's performances, readings, recordings, and artistic collaborations, working closely with the orchestra's Music Director and conductor George Manahan.


Bermel has been a key member of ACO's artistic team since 2007, serving since 2009 as Creative Advisor, mentoring young composers through various ACO initiatives, and co-curating concert programs, including the nine-day SONiC Festival in 2011. The ACO premiered his ACO commission, A Shout, A Whisper, A Trace, in its Orchestra Underground series in 2009.


His ACO appointment comes on the heels of the release of a critically-acclaimed new disc, Canzonas Americanas, with Alarm Will Sound, and the conclusion of a four-year tenure as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  Widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity, Bermel is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music, and as Director of Copland House's new CULTIVATE emerging composers' institute, the second season of which runs from June 3 to 9 at Copland House at Merestead in Mt. Kisco, NY. 


In an eclectic array of collaborations, Bermel has worked as composer and/or clarinetist with jazz great Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra, hip-hop legend Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), violinist Midori, installation artist Shimon Attie, the National and Boston Symphonies, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where he was composer-in-residence,  Guarneri and JACK Quartets, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music from China and Music from Copland House, Jazz Xchange (UK), and Figura (Denmark), among many others.  He has also scored several films with composer/sound designer David Reid, and his musical drama Golden Motors, created with poet Wendy S. Walters, is in development. Bermel will serve as composer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Festival this summer, will appear at the Salt Bay Festival in Maine, and at the International Beethoven Festival in Chicago this fall. Hyllos, his evening-length collaboration with The Veenfabriek and Asko | Sch´┐Żnberg Ensemble premieres in Leiden (Museum of Antiquities), Groningen (Der Aa-church) and in Amsterdam this fall.


His discography features three critically-acclaimed discs:  an all-Bermel orchestral recording that includes his Grammy-nominated performance of his clarinet concerto Voices (BMOP/sound); Soul Garden, a disc of his small ensemble/solo music (New World/CRI); and his most recent disc, Canzonas Americanas, with Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe), which was included on several "Best of the 2012" lists around the U.S. 


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