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Derri Joseph Lewis

Born in 1997, Derri Joseph Lewis is a composer whose work has attracted widespread notice for its engagement with contemporary themes, those of LGBTQIA+ identity in particular, through often playful and rhythmically vivacious music conveying his passion for vocal and choral writing. His songs have been featured in the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Ludlow English Song Weekend, and he was among the composers invited to contribute to Helen Charlston’s Isolation Songbook, released in 2021 on Delphian Records.

A composer who thrives on collaborative ventures, Derri was one of four participants in the 2021 National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Young Composers Scheme, further honing his skills as a composer for voices, with the Ivors-nominated Something ExcitingSoftly and Locus Iste as major outcomes of the collaboration. Something Exciting has been performed by the choir of Somerville College, Oxford, and the University of Bristol Singers. Improvisation and electronics have also featured in his compositions, and his instrumental scores include …BREATHE…, for guitarist Tom McKinney in partnership with Psappha, and the piece Liberalia, written for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Derri is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK), and King’s College, London. In 2022 he was named as a BBC Music Magazine rising star, his work hailed as ‘bold, clear-headed and original’.

Derri contributed to the Byrd quatercentenary celebrations with a response to the motet Rorate caeli desuper, premiered by the Corvus Consort and Music on the Edge. Also in 2023, the City Music Foundation commissioned 9 Songs for 900 Years, in celebration of 900 years of St Bart’s Hospital. Forthcoming projects include a piece based on Psalm 36, commissioned by the Cardiff-based Origin Voices.

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