About Derek Williams

Biography - Career Highlights
Introduction | Education | Career Narrative | Curriculum Vitae

" I am passionate about the creation and performance of music, both self-composed and composed by others, with a substantial publication list of arrangements and compositions in a variety of fields including music for theatre, film and television.  I am committed to achieving excellence in both live and recorded music."



  • Composer of one act opera, Medea for Edinburgh Festival Fringe, premiered at Edinburgh Jazz Bar
  • Commissioned by Edinburgh University & Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to compose Waltz for Edinburgh Festival Fringe ballet, Colours


  • Commissioned by Edinburgh University to compose String Quartet for Professor Raymond Monelle Memorial Conference
  • Arranger, orchestrator - Caroline O'Connor official opening of Hamer Hall, Melbourne, Australia


  • Commissioned by Artisan Trio (Edinburgh) to compose Quintet for Piano, Violin, Cello, Clarinet and Horn, funded by Edinburgh University Roberts Fund
  • Commissioned by Seiras Piano Quintet to compose a new quintet for performance in Rome at the Sala Accademica di Santa Cecilia
  • Commissioned by Glenn Wood Tap to compose music for complete adult syllabus


  • Commissioned to score arrangement for Caroline O'Connor for performance at The Showgirl Within, Garrick Theatre, London
  • Première performance of Fortune & Men's Eyes for Piano, String Quartet, Clarinet & Bass at Kings Place Theatre, London, recorded by BBC for broadcast
  • Composing a full-scale opera, Wilde, scenes from which have been workshopped at The University of Edinburgh by the professional touring opera company, Opera Circus, and selected scenes independently recorded at the university
  • Pianist, arranger and big band musical director for Sinatra interpreter Frank Holden’s live and recorded performances


  • Record producer and participant composer for the recording of an Edinburgh University funded CD Encounters of string quartets with guest soloists featuring PhD student compositions performed by The Edinburgh Quartet and guests


  • String Quartet Caledonian Quartet premiered by The Edinburgh Quartet, and included in a CD of student compositions for commercial release supported by Edinburgh University Roberts Fund; published by Europa Edition


  • Répétiteur for Edinburgh Grand Opera’s semi-professional production of Gounod’s Faust at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre and offstage conductor for the live performances
  • Répétiteur for the inaugural season of Opera Shorts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival


  • Scoring a large scale arrangement for Caroline O’Connor for 650 voice choir and jazz orchestra performed at the Night of 1,000 Voices concert at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Musical director and conductor for the Edinburgh University Savoy Group’s revival of the musical Salad Days


  • Orchestrator, conductor, musical director and record producer for leading international figures including Sir Robert Helpmann, Sir Howard Morrison and English National Opera star Caroline O’Connor
  • Numerous orchestrations and compositions performed at diverse venues including the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall as well as in many television documentaries, mini-series and films including the Oscar winning Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Aria award nominee album Cash Landing for EMI Music and the platinum award winning Australian Broadcasting Corporation WWII jazz album Come in Spinner


  • Conducting studio orchestras performing my orchestrations for many film scores and commercial albums including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the film Frauds starring Phil Collins

1985, 1995

  • Performing as pianist and keyboardist in live theatre including over 400 performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show Cats at Sydney’s Theatre Royal, Australia, revived at Queens Theatre


  • Winning the Professor Hollinrake Memorial Scholarship and Senior Scholarship for Best Student (First) at the Auckland University Conservatorium of Music


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Derek Williams' CV