Composer Derrick Skye Wins 2021 Princess Grace Award

By David Salazar
(Credit: Hannah Arista)

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’ Artistic Advisor Derrick Skye has won the Princess Grace Award.

Skye is the creator of such works as “Mother of Bravery” for septet and narrator as well as “Mind the Rhythm” and his oeuvre has been performed by such organizations as Skye’s the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Cantori New York, Cecilia Chorus New York, Yale Glee Club, University of Oregon, University of Colorado, Boulder, The National Orchestral Institute, Sphinx Virtuosi, Bridge to Everywhere, Los Angeles Electric8, the Salastina Music Society, Lyris Quartet, Super Devoiche (Bulgarian Women’s Choir), and Lian Ensemble (Persian Ensemble).

The composer was nominated by director James Darrah, the LACO’s 2020-21 Creative Director of Digital Content who stated, in a press release, that he was “completely inspired by [Skye’s] ‘entire’ art. As a result of the boundary-pushing Close Quarters digital platform LACO created during the global pandemic, Derrick was able to showcase and unleash a unique, captivating musical voice and a gracious, progressive spirit as a theater maker and storyteller. Derrick is constantly seeking to illuminate, whether through his curation of artistic teams or the intersection of how a dancer might influence the notes or words on the page of the score. He is essentially re-writing what it means to be a ‘composer’ in a chamber music environment. He’s engaging with people outside of the norms to push boundaries, but it’s at such a personal, core level that it emerges as something entirely new, refreshing, human, and unapologetically, rapturously fierce. Derrick is a generous musical ‘revolutionary,’ and this Princess Grace Award is a wonderful acknowledgment of his singular talent as a key artist who’s bringing new music, orchestral works and opera into theatrical and cinematic spaces in powerful, uncharted new ways.”

The Princess Grace Award supports and elevates early career artists in theater, dance, and film, with the aim of developing their careers. Skye is one of 18 winners.