Nick DiBerardino Graduate Student: Composition

Rhodes Scholar Nick DiBerardino (b. 1989) is a composer whose music depicts vivid, fantastical journeys. Melodic lyricism, “richly textured, multilayered” sounds (Minnesota Star Tribune), and dynamic harmony “full of jostling and jarring tonal colors” (Broad Street Review) distinguish his diverse catalog. Nick’s work weaves “surprisingly harmonious melodies” (Portland Press Herald) into a visceral, gestural language, making contact with science, literature, history, art, and poetry to trace broad narrative arcs that resonate beyond the concert hall.

Nick is enthusiastically working to extend the reach of art music through collaborative projects. His recent children’s opera Anansi and the Great Light, produced by Curtis’ Family Concert Series, explored a new model for community involvement in the creative process. A series of residency workshops involved schoolchildren in North Philadelphia in every phase of the work’s creation. Nick also developed a workshop series for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of memory loss and dementia. This series was created in partnership with the Penn Memory Center and culminated in a concert of collaboratively composed works.

An accomplished young orchestral voice, Nick’s works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Minnesota Orchestra, among others. His chamber music has been read and performed by the Zora, Iris, and Brentano String Quartets, arx duo, Sandbox Percussion, the Israeli Chamber Project, the New College Choir, Thin Edge Music Collective, members of the Fountain Ensemble and Horszowski Trio, performers Tony Arnold, Blair McMillen, Tara O’Connor, Danny Phillips, Soovin Kim, and many other ensembles and artists. Nick has received recognition for his music from a diverse set of institutions, including ASCAP and the American Composers Forum. In 2018, Nick was chosen as one of five composition fellows for the international Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong. 

Nick is also a passionate educator. He has served on the Musical Studies faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music and worked as a teaching fellow and assistant at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, and four of the colleges at the University of Oxford. He is currently the Musical Studies Lead Instructor and Composition Coordinator at Curtis’ Young Artist Summer Program and is thrilled to be teaching composition and theory at the Sphinx Performance Academy, a program with a primary focus on cultural diversity that actively recruits students from cultural backgrounds underrepresented in the field of classical music. 

Nick earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University, where he founded the Undergraduate Composers Collective, was elected early to Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded the Edward T. Cone Memorial Prize for excellence in music theory and composition. At the University of Oxford, Nick founded the Oxford Laptop Orchestra, obtained an M.Phil with distinction, and was awarded the John Lowell Osgood Memorial Prize for composition. Nick also holds an M.M. from the Yale School of Music and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition at Princeton.

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