Sat Mar 18, 7:00 PM - Sat Mar 18, 9:00 PM

BackRoom at The Boston Synagogue

48 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02139

Community: Boston


Nobody writes music like Derek David

Event Details

Join us for the second season of the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music, a free monthly concert series presenting original music drawing from the Jewish cultural experience. Hosted by BackRoom at The Boston Synagogue, co-presented by JArts, and live-streaming everywhere, the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music highlights the best in Jewish-influenced music by composers and performers who live right here in our own backyard.

All concerts will be performed live at the Boston Synagogue and live-streamed.

Season 2. Concert 9. Derek David

Derek David is a composer, conductor, and music educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. His dramatic and vibrant chamber music has been performed in both Europe and the United States and has received great recognition from audiences and critics alike. Derek’s String Quartet (2011), described as “a true musical jewel of the 21st Century,” has been met with international praise and repeated performances throughout the United States. Derek has been the recipient of the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute Prize (2011), the Morton Gould ASCAP Award (2011), first place in the 2015 American Prize in Composition–Chamber Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s New Art Song Competition. Mr. David was the recipient of the 2018 SFCM Hoefer Prize for his accumulative body of work from over the past 10 years.

He has been commissioned by the Juventas Ensemble, SAKURA Cello Quintet, The Sonica Quartet, The Sounding Board, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble, the Verona Quartet, Del Sol String Quartet, and the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO). His music has received repeated national performances and was featured in the 2019 LA Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight new music festival.

Derek is currently the musical director and conductor of ‘A Besere Velt’ - אַ בעסערע װעלט, one of three choirs in the world dedicated to the performance and preservation of Yiddish repertoire. ABV proudly promotes a message of economic, racial, and social justice.

Derek studied composition at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received Masters and Doctoral degrees from The New England Conservatory. As an enthusiastic educator, Derek has taught theory and musicianship at the New England Conservatory, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, at The Walden School, and was previously a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. He is currently Lecturer in Music at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For his work at Harvard, Dr. David is a five-time recipient of the Distinction in Teaching Award. His areas of interest extend to Medieval theory and musicology, The Beatles, and music of the Yiddish world.
About us

The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music was created by local musicians who believe that:

- People find meaning and joy in art and community, and communities come together around shared experiences, especially regular meetings over time.

- We all benefit from hearing great concerts and musicians benefit from the opportunity to develop and present new works to people excited to hear them.

- A strong cultural ecosystem is part of what makes the Boston area so vital and strong.

- Great Jewish music is great music. You don’t need to be from the South Bronx to love hip hop or from Panama to love reggaeton; why should you need to know the difference between the Torah and the Talmud to fall in love with Abigale Reisman’s violin or Zach Mayer’s saxophone? Our music is from a certain cultural place, but it’s for everyone.

- Art should be accessible to everyone in our broader community. Especially after the past 18 months has made hearing live music so difficult, we are doubling down on accessibility. Concerts are free and live-streamed for folks who can’t attend in person. For those who can, the venue is totally handicapped accessible and an easy walk from the Red Line, Orange Line, Green Line, and BlueBike stations.

If you believe any of these things, or just want to hear some amazing concerts, join us for this second season of the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music.


The Boston Synagogue is handicapped accessible and an easy walk from the Red Line, Orange Line, Green Line, and BlueBike stations.

If you need to drive, there are handicapped parking spots at the front door and no stairs from parking to seating or restrooms. It also has non-fixed seating, which means we can accommodate wheelchairs in any row and allow folks in wheelchairs to sit with their friends, families, or PCAs.

If you have any questions about accessibility at the Boston Synagogue or on the Live Stream, please contact Nat Seelen at

COVID stuff

Concerts at the Boston Synagogue will follow the Boston Synagogue’s COVID response plan, which is informed by public health guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston.

At this point, that means that we:

- Require proof of vaccination for all artists, audience, and staff.

- Require masks at all times while not eating or drinking. Artists may remove masks when performing and will maintain a 6-ft distance from the audience.

- Limit capacity at the venue to allow for appropriate spacing of seating.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Boston Synagogue has invested in updated ventilation, including a HEPA filtration system, and in improved AV equipment for live streaming.

Based on the situation at the time of each concert, we may be required to further limit in-person seating. If this happens, we will contact ticket holders with alternative options for watching the concert.

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