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Derek David


Derek David is a composer, conductor, music educator, and Yiddishist based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the musical director of A Besere Velt, the chorus of the Boston Workers Circle. Now in his third year, he has presided over numerous concerts including the Yiddish New York festival in 2018, as well as collaborations with celebrated artists in the Yiddish world such Loren Sklamberg, Polina Shepard, and Anthony Russell. A Besere Velt and musical arrangements by David are featured on Sklamberg and Shepard’s new Album 150 voices. Yiddish has played a central role in his life. Having spoken Yiddish with his grandmothers as a young child, Derek has gone on to study Yiddish at The YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, as well as at the Workers Circle. As a Yiddishist, David is deeply devoted to the preservation and continued evolution of Yiddish art in the 21st century.  As a composer, David’s dramatic and vibrant chamber music has been performed in both Europe and the United States and has received great recognition from audiences and critics alike. Derek’s String Quartet (2011), has been met with international praise and repeated performances throughout the United States. It was described by Sabino Pena of France’s Classiquenews.com as “a true musical jewel of the 21st Century.” The quartet was awarded both the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute Prize and the Morton Gould ASCAP Award in 2011, as well as first place in the American prize in 2015. Additionally, he is the current recipient of the 2018 SFCM Hoefer Prize for his accumulative body of work from over the past 10 years.

Watch past programs from Derek David