Derri Joseph Lewis (b.1997) is a prize-winning Welsh composer and sound-artist, writing music for concerts, stage-works and installations in Europe and America.
His music has been performed by artists and ensembles including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Gould Piano Trio, bass-violist Liam Byrne, and the Ligeti Quartet.
In 2020 Derri graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with first class honours, studying with Joseph Davies and Ceri Tippetts and receiving the Eifion Evans Memorial Prize and RWCMD Skills Award.
"It has given me great pleasure to witness the extraordinary development of Derri Joseph Lewis, and I look forward to performing his newly commissioned songs in the USA during the 2021/22 season."
- Dr Jeremy Huw Williams, Baritone & Secretary of Welsh Music Guild
Derri has a passion for choral music; in 2021-22, he will join the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain as part of their ‘Young Composers Platform’, workshopping new music for a cappella vocal ensembles. In 2020, Derri was also commissioned by the Corvus Consort as part of their #TwelveComposersComposing project in aid of CrisisUK’s Christmas Appeal.
"Who knew commissioning a piece could go so smoothly? Derri nailed the brief, delivered promptly, was easy to communicate with, and really threw himself into the team spirit of a collaborative project. He also wrote a cracking piece."
- Freddie Crowley — Director, Corvus Consort
Derri has explored song in both English and Welsh - his duet 'A Moment' is featured on Helen Charlston's 'Isolation Songbook,' released on Delphian . The duet was given its premiere at St Pancras Clocktower in a concert supported by City Music Foundation.
"Derri's contribution to the Isolation Songbook is a masterclass in the miniature. Using just the two verses of Mary Elizabeth Colerige's exquisite text, he creates a luminous world of wonder and longing, and it really feels as if, just for that moment, time does stand still. "
- Helen Charlston — Mezzo-soprano, Isolation Songbook
Derri’s song cycle, ‘3 o Englynion y Misoedd’ (Calendar Songs) was commissioned by Welsh Music Guild (Paul Mealor Bursary) and will be premiered by Jeremy Huw Williams and Paula Fan in the USA in the 2021-22 season. His Cane fires from the cabin of a plane - a song cycle with words by American poet Emily Bishai - will be performed at the Ludlow English Song Weekend 2021.
He has been awarded many prestigious prizes, bursaries and funds, including funding from Psappha to develop a new work with guitarist Tom McKinney, the Sound and Music COVID-19 Composer Award, funding from the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) to study with Kaspar Ewalds at Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK), a grant from Tŷ Cerdd to develop a children’s opera with Flatpack Opera, and the National Centre for Early Music “Young Composer Award 2019” in association with BBC Radio 3.
"Derri was a worthy winner of NCEM’s composers’ award and an inspiring colleague for gamba specialist Liam Byrne to work with — his ideas are hugely inventive and engaging reflecting his very positive approach to his music making."
- Dr Delma Tomlin MBE — Director, National Centre for Early Music
Derri has also written music for stage, screen and film - most recently collaborating with writer and director Tudur Owen and the Welsh youth homelessness charity Llamau for the short film Cai’s Story. His electronic sound-art has been commissioned by National Library of Wales, National Lottery Heritage Fund, British Library, and has also been featured at the National Museum Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre (National Eisteddfod 2018), CHAPTER Arts Centre, and OXO Tower Southbank.
In 2017, the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned a new orchestral work, River Image, which was premiered in Reading Train Station and subsequently performed by City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra and the Roath Brook Orchestra.
Other chamber music includes Gwyl Werin, performed by New Music Players and Patrick Bailey in St. James’ Paddington, and Projection, premiered by wind soloists of the Aldworth Philharmonic and guitarist Arturo Castro in Schloss Eller, Düsseldorf Germany.
date tba: Englynion y misoedd - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) and Paula Fan (piano)
date tba: Joy - Aldworth Philharmonic and Andrew Taylor
19.7.2021: - ...BREATHE... - Tom McKinney (guitar)
9-11.4.2021 Cane fires from the cabin of a plane - Emily Sierra (mezzo) and Gamal Khamis (piano) - Ludlow English Song Weekend 2021 *details tbc*
4.1.2021 Eleven Pipers Piping - Corvus Consort and Freddie Crowley - 'Twelve Composers Composing' charity fundraiser
29.7.2020 - A Moment - Helen Charlston (mezzo-), Michael Craddock (baritone) & Alexander Soares (piano) - City Music Foundation Live - St Pancras Clock Tower, London
<<CANCELLED>> 1.5.2020 - tri/o - RWCMD Atmospheres 2020 - Richard Burton Theatre
<<CANCELLED>> 4.4.2020 Cane fires from the cabin of a plane - Emily Sierra (mezzo) and Gamal Khamis (piano) - Ludlow English Song Weekend 2020
13.2.2020 - River Image - City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra (con. Martin McHale) - Stanwell Road Baptist Church, Penarth
3.2.2020 - 3 o Ganueon Byrion - James Atkinson (baritone) Gamal Khamis (piano) - Ludlow English Song Weekend Preview - Marylebone, London
10.1.2020 - Gwyl Werin - Gould Piano Trio - Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, Cardiff
24.11.2019 - Walls of Brass - Liam Byrne - BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show *first broadcast*
19.10.2019 - River Image - Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (con. Andrew Taylor) Great Hall Reading University
12.10.2019 - Walls of Brass - Liam Byrne - Glitch, Bristol
9.5.2019 - Walls of Brass - Liam Byrne - National Centre for Early Music, York
4.5.2019 - Spinning Jenny - Atmospheres Festival 2019, RWCMD, Cardiff
28.3.2019 - Rodin in Rome - Berkeley Ensemble (con. Mark Bowden) - Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, Cardiff
19.2.19 - Summit Blue - BBC National Orchestra of Wales (con. B. Tommy Andersson) - BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff
11.2.19 - Fingers of the Light - RWCMD Chamber Winds (con. Nicholas Carpenter) - Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, Cardiff
16.1.19 - Abbey Quarter - RWCMD Chamber Brass (con. Roger Argente) - Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, Cardiff