Derek Charke won the 2012 Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year for his work "Sepia Fragments" and the 2013 ECMA Award for Classical Composition of the Year for his work "Between the Shore and the Ships". Derek's compositions increasingly pair electroacoustic elements, many derived from environmental sounds, with acoustic instruments. Ecological sound as an artistic statement on environmental issues has become an impetus for many works, and his interest in the Arctic has like-wise played a role in many of his compositions. His music bridges a divide between this play of pure sound, collecting natural and environmental sound, and a continuation of the western "classical" tradition, albeit with contemporary and popular influences.
Derek Charke earned his bachelor's degree in composition at the University of North Texas, a master's degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music, a master's degree in flute and a doctorate degree in composition from the University at Buffalo. While at Buffalo he studied composition with David Felder and flute with Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman. Previous composition teachers included Louis Andriessen, Steve Martland and Cindy McTee.
Dr. Charke, who currently is associate professor of music theory and composition at Acadia University School of Music in Nova Scotia, Canada, and associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, has received numerous awards and commission for his compositions, including a BMI student composer award for his work Xynith, the Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Composition from the University of North Texas, and an honorable mention from the Kubik Prize for his composition What do the Birds Think? He has been commissioned by ensembles such as Duo Turgeon, the Kronos Quartet, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Dr. Charke and his wife currently live in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
- 2010 – Sea to Sea (St. Lawrence String Quartet Centrediscs / Centredisques CD-CMCCD 16310) (Includes Sepia fragments)
- 2011 – A Canadian Music Sampler: Centrediscs 30 Years (Centrediscs / Centredisques CD-CMCCD 17311) (Includes Sepia fragments)
- 2012 – ...Between the Shore and the Ships... (Centrediscs / Centredisques CD-CMCCD 17912) (Includes Blizzard; Between the Shore and the Ships)
- 2012 Juno Award Winners (Retrieved April 21, 2012)
- 2013 ECMA Award Winners (Retrieved April 26, 2013)
- Derek Charke bio (Retrieved February 22, 2010)
- Derek Charke Canadian Music Centre (Retrieved February 22, 2010)
- Dr. Derek Charke Acadia University School of Music (Retrieved February 22, 2010)
- http://musiccentre.ca/node/37652/recordings (Retrieved April 26, 2013)
- Official web page
- Dr. Charke at Acadia University
- Derek Charke on ZoomInfo People Directory
- Article on NovaNewsNow.com
- Article from the Georgia Straight, "Composer Derek Charke's Tundra Songs tapping a northern cool"
- Article from the Georgia Straight, "Tanya Tagaq and the Kronos Quartet made Tundra Songs a masterpiece"
- Article from the Winnipeg Free Press, "Tagaq's throat-singing defies description, captivates crowd"