Derek Foster was born in 1943. Although he studied piano and composed from an early age, it was not until 1971 that he started wider musical studies, at evening classes at Morley College, London, including some years in the composition class, with Harrison Birtwistle, Hugh Wood, Anthony Gilbert and Melanie Daiken. He also studied piano privately with Keith Burrows. He attended Birtwistle's composition seminar at Dartington Summer School in 1972.
He later undertook the BMus course at Goldsmiths College, and graduated in 1991. Here he studied composition with Tim Ewers.
Derek Foster has been active as a pianist and percussionist, making a speciality of the vibraphone, and has performed widely as a soloist, accompanist and in ensembles, including numerous first performances. He played in rock and jazz groups in the 1960s and 70s, and wrote music for these. He writes concert music in a contemporary idiom and in a lighter style.
Works have been accepted by the B.B.C., and by the S.P.N.M., who programmed Intermediary (septet) at Glasgow and Rehearsal (2 actors and 4 instruments) at the R.N.C.M. His music has been played at festivals, music clubs, universities and colleges throughout the country. A believer in the 'composer-performer' tradition, he has played his own solo and chamber music in numerous recitals.
For some time, he was a freelance computer programmer and musician. After a period in the 1990s when the I.T. work became full-time, he is now teaching music privately.
Ode to Saint Cecilia (choir and brass) was performed at Southwark Cathedral. " .. succinct little work .. well-shaped .. affirmative conception" Daily Telegraph.
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