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Derrick Wang, composer

Derrick Wang is a composer, writer, and thinker unlocking value in unlikely places.

He is the creator of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, “a perfect…jewel” (Opera Today) that was launched at the Supreme Court of the United States in 2013, ushering in the current era of Supreme Court-themed books, films, and art. The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Could we please make it a constitutional requirement that no one can be sworn into office in the White House or Congress without first having seen Scalia/Ginsburg?” An early version of his libretto was published in the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, with prefaces by Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia themselves. The opera is also featured in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s book My Own Wordsas its own chapter, the audiobook version of which is narrated by the composer from New York’s Steinway Hall. Scalia/Ginsburgwas originally premiered by Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival (2015), with further productions at TheGlimmerglass Festival (2017), Opera North (2018), OperaDelaware (2019), and Toledo Opera (2020).

As a composer, Derrick Wang has received awards from musical organizations including ASCAP and BMI. His compositions, presented by artists ranging from the American Modern Ensemble to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, have been heard in venues from New York to Shanghai, and his orchestrations have been performed at Carnegie Hall and Juilliard. 

As a librettist and lyricist, his words, set to his own music, have been performed at venues including the Library of Congress, York Theatre, Ars Nova Theater, Joe’s Pub at the New York Public Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, Harvard University, and Yale University. He has also served as a Resident Artist (Composer & Librettist) at American Lyric Theater.

As a scholar, he serves on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where he designs and teaches interdisciplinary courses in music and law.

As a speaker, he addresses select audiences and organizations in the United States and abroad, including TEDxBroadway, the Second Circuit Judicial Conference, National Constitution Center, Stanford Arts Institute & Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. 

He currently serves as Founding Advisor at Arsapio, LLC, a creative consultancy for polymathic growth. Formerly an attorney in private practice, he has served as counsel advising creative clients across industries in the launch, operation, and growth of their ventures, and was named to Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers®Maryland Rising Stars list for his work in intellectual property law. He has also spent time at premier Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, where he shadowed a group of over 100 startups while researching the creativity of tech entrepreneurship.

Born in Maryland, he graduated from Gilman School while studying piano at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He is a graduate of Harvard University (AB magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), the Yale School of Music (MM Composition), and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law (JD). For more information, visit www.derrickwang.com.

(April 2019)