"Kicking off with a superb waltz by Derek Williams, the piece was off-kilter enough to make you hang on every note, yet with touches of traditionalism that evoked images of Viennese ballrooms."

Kelly Apter, The Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 16 Aug 2013

"Thank you for your marvellous arrangements and wonderful musicianship, support and encouragement. It has been a joy working with you on our Tribute To Garland, and we look forward to the next one!"

Caroline O'Connor (Sydney Opera House, January 2006, Royal Albert Hall, May 2007)

"Since I began working with him I have been impressed not only with his vast musical knowledge, and a natural facility which ranges across the various styles of music, from classical through jazz to pop, but also with his ability to achieve the most sublime and original music effects…"

Martin Armiger, Head of Screen Composition, Australian Film Television and Radio School (Australian Government, November 2005)

Derek Williams / composer, conductor, arranger

Derek Williams’ portfolio of professional work encompasses Classical, Jazz and Pop genres across the media of Film, Television, Theatre, Recordings, Dance and Live Performance.

Since 2007 he has been employed as Lecturer in Orchestration, Composition and Screen Composition, on the Associated Staff at the University of Edinburgh, from which he holds a PhD in Music Composition.

In 2016 he was commissioned to arrange, conduct, mix and master the vocal and orchestral music for the Glenfiddich 21 year old Whisky ad campaign, so far exceeding 1.7 million hits, viewable on his YouTube Channel.  His most recent commissions include a new Trio for the Hindemith Trio, Parma, Italy, a new symphony in four movements for The Orchestra of the Canongait, and a film score for The Beast in the Storm, winner of Los Angeles Film Festival Award for best SciFi/ Thriller.

Alongside his career as an educator, he has been self-employed variously as composer, conductor, musical director and record producer for a range of international clients, including The University of Edinburgh and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, EMI Music, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Caroline O’Connor, Sir Robert Helpmann, Sir Howard Morrison. His work has featured in performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Royal Albert Hall and Garrick Theatre (London), Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Hamer Hall (Australia), the Australian Embassy (New York), Sala Accademica di Santa Cecilia (Rome) and Edinburgh University.

He has been orchestrator, associate composer and musician for 27 feature films, television documentaries, mini-series, and 15 album titles and has been a frequent conductor of studio orchestras, including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the feature film Frauds. Many of the media to which he has contributed have themselves achieved critical and popular acclaim, including BAFTA Award (The Making of Longbird), Best Film Score (Crush), an Oscar (The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert), Triple Platinum record sales (Come In Spinner – ABC) and an Australian Aria Award nomination (Cash Landing – EMI Music).

Stars in films he has orchestrated include Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Phil Collins, Josephine Byrnes, Lee Majors, Jack Scalia, Bob Peck, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp. He worked with Torvill & Dean as arranger and pianist for their album Here We Stand. He has performed extensively as keyboardist, including over 400 performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show Cats (Really Useful Theatre Company) and Phantom of the Opera (Cameron Mackintosh Limited), and as musical director for independent productions.

He has the digital technology necessary to work in-house in his private studio in Edinburgh.

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