Hailed as “bold, clear-headed and original” (BBC Music Magazine), prize-winning British composer Derri Joseph Lewis is making a name for himself as a unique voice in new music.
With a vivid and playful approach to timbre and rhythm, Derri’s work often explores themes of LGBTQIA+ identity.
"music of gently searing intensity"
- Tom Service — BBC Radio 3 New Music Show
Deeply passionate about vocal and choral music, Derri’s distinctive musical style has been championed by leading choirs and singers, including the National Youth Choir (SOMETHING EXCITING, SOFTLY, LOCUS ISTE), Choir of King's College London, and mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston (A MOMENT).
"Derri's contribution to the Isolation Songbook is a masterclass in the miniature. 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
Equally at home writing for instruments, Derri has collaborated with prestigious ensembles such as Royal Scottish National Orchestra (LIBERALIA) and BBC National Orchestra of Wales (SUMMIT BLUE), for which he was awarded the Welsh Music Guild's 'Paul Mealor Prize’.
Derri’s work …BREATHE… for solo guitar, written for Tom McKinney, was featured in Psappha Ensemble’s 30th Anniversary season.
"“I love the authenticity of Derri’s choral compositions. He shows a true heart and sincerity, as well as a well-developed understanding of the human voice and what it is capable of producing."
- Ben Parry - Artistic Director & Principal Conductor, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
Derri’s music-making process is intensely collaborative. The choral piece SOMETHING EXCITING — a work about coming out as LGBTQ+ — was written in partnership with the singers of the National Youth Choir, weaving the musicians’ stories and ideas into the fabric of the piece.
A winner of the National Centre for Early Music’s Young Composer Award, Derri graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with first class honours, with a study-abroad term at Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He continues his studies at King's College London.
24.9.22: Gobaith - Choir of King's College London and Joseph Fort - Cowbridge Music Festival
27.8.22: Locus Iste - National Youth Training Choir and Tori Longdon - Victoria Hall Bristol
7.8.22: Locus Iste - National Youth Training Choir and Greg Beardsell - St. Wilfrid's Church Harrogate
15.2.22: Something Exciting - National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellowship, VOCES8 Centre
5.2.22: Joy - Aldworth Philharmonic and Andrew Taylor
4.2.2022: - ...BREATHE... - Tom McKinney (guitar) - Hallé St Peter’s
12.10.2021 - A Moment - Helen Charlston (mezzo-), Michael Craddock (baritone) & Alexander Soares (piano) - Oxford Lieder Festival
4.9.2021 - A Moment - Helen Charlston (mezzo-), Michael Craddock (baritone) & Alexander Soares (piano) - Boxgrove Choral Festival
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
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