Derek Tam, Assistant Conductor

Derek Tam, assistant conductor

In demand as a conductor and historical keyboardist, Derek Tam performs regularly in the Bay Area and elsewhere.


As a conductor, Derek appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles, serving as assistant conductor with Symphony Napa Valley. As the assistant conductor of the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra, he works with the full chorus, conducts a 30-voice chamber ensemble, and rehearsed the chorus during its recent tour to Central Europe. Derek is also the director of music at First Congregational Church of Berkeley.


Derek is a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist on various historical keyboards, from the harpsichord and fortepiano to the modern concert grand. As a historical keyboardist, he presents solo recitals throughout the Bay Area and is a founding member of MUSA, a San Francisco–based baroque ensemble. He also performs regularly with the Alchemy Trio, which performs a broad range of repertoire on period-appropriate instruments. He has served as a harpsichordist for various professional ensembles, including the symphonies of Napa Valley and Modesto. This year, he will serve as a coach and accompanist at the NAPA Music Festival and the American Bach Soloists Academy and Festival.


Derek is committed to education and outreach. He is education coordinator for American Bach Soloists, one of the nation’s premier early music ensembles. As a conductor with the Star Valley Children’s Choir, based in Millbrae, he led the choir to a gold award — the highest possible rating — at the 2012 WorldStrides Heritage Musical Festival in Anaheim. He also played a major role in resurrecting the choral program at Berkeley High School, which had been nonexistent for the past decade. With the Berkeley Community Chamber Singers, he frequently leads outreach efforts to hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions.


Derek also teaches voice and piano privately, and he is a registered tax professional with the State of California.


Derek graduated cum laude from Yale, where his teachers included Elizabeth Parisot on piano, Jeffrey Douma in conducting, and Ilya Poletaev on harpsichord and continuo.


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