Derek Charke
Derek Charke - Wired
Region: Nova Scotia
Genre: Classical

Derek Charke is a JUNO and three-time ECMA award-winning composer and flutist. Derek has a catalogue of over 90 works and many high profile commissions and performances, including several by Canada’s major Symphony Orchestras, the Kronos Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Duo Turgeon, Land’s End Ensemble, WIRED!, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, as well as an impressive list of other performers and organizations. Derek is a professor of composition at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and is co-director of the Acadia New Music Society. Equally at home performing cutting-edge contemporary music or participating in free improvisation as he is performing Bach or Vivaldi, Derek received a Master's degree in flute performance from SUNY Buffalo where he studied with the late Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman. He also received a Ph.D. in composition with David Felder. In addition to the WIRED! Ensemble Derek plays in the Charke~Cormier Duo with guitarist Eugene Cormier. Recently signed to Leaf-Music in Halifax they release their debut duo album Ex Tempore this spring (April, 2018).

The album In Sonorous Falling Tones features four compositions by Derek Charke, the WIRED! Ensemble conducted by Mark Hopkins, and Derek Charke as flute soloist. The music in this album spans the fullest range of Derek’s output, from a work written fifteen years ago while he was finishing his doctoral studies in composition at SUNY Buffalo, to the title track—a work from 2015 that features his considerable talents as a flutist. Derek creates new and complex musical worlds, always searching for some kernel of truth and beauty.

The WIRED! Ensemble is the resident ensemble of the Acadia New Music Society, and the brainchild of conductor Mark Hopkins and composer Derek Charke. With a flexible instrumentation, WIRED! Is comprised of professional musicians from the Maritimes who are dedicated to the excellent performance of quality chamber music of our time. Mark Hopkins, conductor; Derek Charke, flutes; Eileen Walsh, clarinets; Gillian Smith, violin; Susan Sayle, viola; Norman Adams, cello; Max Kasper, bass; Simon Docking, piano; Mark Adam and Naoko Tsujita, percussion.

In Sonorous Falling Tones was produced by John D.S. Adams of Stonehouse Sound for the Centrediscs Label (Toronto).

Reviews for In Sonorous Falling Tones

"Bravissimo! This is contemporary music-making at its best. Good things are happening in Wolfville, Nova Scotia." — Allan Pulker, the WholeNote Toronto

"The totality of the four compositions mark Derek Charke as a composer of beautifully crafted importance--and a master flautist of great virtuosity and originality. There is a great deal here to savor. Definitely recommended!" — Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical-Modern Review

Awards and Nominations


2016 ECMA Nomination
Classical Composition of the Year “Wired and Wound”

2015 ECMA Award
Classical Composition of the Year “Reel Variations”

2015 ECMA Award
Classical Recording of the Year “Kitchen Party”

2013 ECMA Award
Classical Composition of the Year “Between the Shore and Ships”

2012 JUNO Award
Classical Composition of the Year “Sepia Fragments”


2016 ECMA Nominations
3 nominations for Classical Composition of the Year "Live Wired"

2015 ECMA Nominations
3 nominations for Classical Composition of the Year "Kitchen Party"

2013 ECMA Award
Classical Record of the Year “Between the Shore and Ships”

2013 ECMA Nominations / Award
3 nominations / 1 award for Classical Composition of the Year “Between the Shore and Ships”