“…one of the most promising composers to come out of Portland State in years.”

– Willamette Week

“…(A) rising star in the classical music world.”

– Portland Monthly

Jay Derderian (b.1986) is a composer, 7-string electric guitarist, and Portland Oregon native.

Derderian has been writing, performing, and improvising longer than he hasn’t. He picked up his first guitar at 13, began private formal training at 15, then entered into the music composition program at Portland State University where he studied with Bonnie Miksch and Bryan Johanson and later graduated in 2011 at 24 as one of the department’s youngest Master’s students with a M.S. and B.M. in Music Composition. Derderian is also currently pursuing a post-bac graduate degree in Computer Science.

Derderian’s compositions encompass a wide array of genres including solos, chamber music, multi-media compositions, electro-acoustic music, and symphonic works. Each piece seeks to utilize stylistic plurality while balancing emotional sincerity, impassioned harmony, memorable melody, elegant form, and clarity of expression.  Recent projects include I want to unfold (2016), an electro-acoustic sax quartet commissioned and premiered by the Mana Quartet at the 39th Festival of New American Music, In The Tides I Break (2017) commissioned by Portland Piano International for their Rising Stars program, Child of The Sun (2018), commissioned by the Seen/Heard Trio, Ludic Loops (2018), commissioned and premiered at the 2018 Nief Norf festival by the L & M Duo , The People They Think We Are (2018) for piano, video, and fixed media, commissioned by Kathy Supove, and Nomad Suite (2019) for guitar and flute, commissioned by the Cerulean Duo.  

Derderian’s compositions have been performed across the United States and he’s received commissions and performances from some of the leading new music performers and ensembles including The Mana Quartet, fEARnoMUSIC, Third Angle Ensemble, The Portland Cello Project,  and Portland Piano International. He has also had his music performed by pianist Kathy Supove, violist Andrew Stiefel, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, violinist Stella Peach, Cascadia Composers, the FPC Chamber Choir, and has had his featured at the North American Saxophone Alliance, Nief-Norf, the Vox Novus Composer’s Voice Series, the Portland International Piano Festival, and March Music Moderne.