The music of Derek Hurst broadly exhibits a precarious balance between visceral solemnity and muscular jocularity. Derek's works (almost equally split between electroacoustic and acoustic concert music) have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. His compositional sensibilities are informed by his experience as a guitarist and work in the electronic music studio. Most notably, creative and investigative work done in electroacoustic /computer music has influenced the way in which he conceives both timbral development and adaptation of non-tempered sonorities in much of his acoustic music.
He has received a Fromm Foundation Commission, an Artist's Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and awards and fellowships from The Copland House Residency, the Irving Fine Fellowship for Music Composition, Sacher Grant for Study Abroad, Brandeis University, and Wellesley Composer's Conference. His Interloper for piano trio was the winning composition of the 2001 Wayne Peterson Prize.
Derek has worked with many prominent young performers and new music groups, sometimes in close collaboration. These include: Brian Sacawa, Gilberto Bernardes, Winston Choi, Ian Pace, Stephen Gosling and ensembles such as Boston Modern Orchestra Project, The Firebird Ensemble, Left Coast Ensemble, Brave New Works, The Contemporary Keyboard Society and Firebird Ensemble, with works featured on concert events of League-ISCM, SEAMUS, ICMC (2001 and 2004), Boston Cyberarts and the Computer Arts Festival (Padova, It). His Bacchanalia Skiapodorum, for alto saxophone and electronics, was released on the critically acclaimed CD American Voices (Brian Sacawa, saxophones).
Derek received his Ph.D. in composition/theory from Brandeis University and has studied composition with Tomas Svoboda, John Melby, Eric Chasalow, Martin Boykan, Yehudi Wyner, and David Rakowski and electronic music with Scott Wyatt, Eric Chasalow, and Josh Skallar/ Mario Davidovsky. Currently he teaches courses in music theory, composition, and electronic music at Brown University and Berklee College of Music and has taught similar courses Brandeis University and Wheaton College.