Derek Herzer is in his fourth year as accompanist for the Oratorio Chorale. He is a graduate of the music program at the University of Southern Maine, where he has studied with Laura Kargul. He is much in demand as a solo pianist and accompanist and collaborates with soloists and ensembles.
Derek is from northern Michigan. He began teaching himself piano at the age of 17 with almost no prior musical knowledge. After a few years of intensive work, he was accepted into the School of Music at Western Michigan University where, in 2010, he received his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. Before moving to Maine, he was on the faculty of Crescendo Academy of Music and was also an instructor for The Gilmore’s piano camp.
As a pianist, I have to express my delight at the playing of accompanist Derek Herzer, who can do everything, including Lisztian pyrotechnics, with style and grace. His solo of “Skazka, Op. 35, No. 4 by Nikolai Medtner, depicting King Lear’s storm scene, “Blow winds and crack your cheeks,” was striking in itself. Its performance on a well-tuned Yamaha upright was little short of incredible.
— Christopher Hyde, June 5, 2012, Portland Press Herald