Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY)
The Art of Performance - The Power of Education
Founded by Iris Derke (General Director) and Jonathan Griffith (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor) Distinguished Concerts International is driven by passion, innovative vision, a total belief in its artists, and unwavering commitment to bringing forth unforgettable audience experiences. With over 25 combined years of experience, DCINY is a creative producing entity with unmatched integrity that is a talent incubator, a star-maker, and a presenter of broadly accessible, world-class musical entertainment.
Co-Founder and General Director of DCINY
Musician, manager, and administrator, Iris Derke has enjoyed a diverse career as a performer and producer of the arts for more than 20 years. As the co-founder of Distinguished Concerts International New York, a creative producing entity, she now adds another important capability to her growing resume-General Director. In her capacities as manager and producer, she has worked with talented artists and musicians from across the globe, from New York and throughout the U.S., to the Middle East and Europe. She has facilitated successful performances by talented choral and instrumental ensembles as well as noted soloists, composers, and guest conductors at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall and at numerous other prestigious concert venues. She has worked on concerts featuring the music of such contemporary composers as Karl Jenkins, Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, and John Mackey.
An active flautist in the New York area, she made her Carnegie Hall performance debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1994, and her Lincoln Center debut with the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra International in 2009. Additional solo appearances were made in France, Poland, and across the U.S. She can be heard on numerous studio recordings for film, television, and educational music software.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Ms. Derke received her B.A. from UCLA, with continued graduate and postgraduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY, and an ARCM (Associate of the Royal College of Music) from the Royal College of Music in London, England.
Co-Founder and Artistic Director of DCINY
The co-founder of Distinguished Concerts International New York, Jonathan Griffith is an active conductor, educator, lecturer, and consultant. His many conducting credits include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake City; Manhattan Philharmonic and New England Symphonic Ensemble, both in performances at Carnegie Hall; The European Symphony Orchestra, Spain; Bohuslava Martin Philharmonia and Philharmonia Chorus, Virtuosi Pregensis Chamber Orchestra, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and Dvoák Chamber Orchestra, Czech Republic; Bialystok State Philharmonic, Poland; and regional orchestras and choruses in the United States.
Maestro Griffith made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 1989. His combined 50-plus conducting appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center span the major works of the classical repertoire and include the U.S. premieres of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins' Stabat Mater and Te Deum, Russian composer Sergei Taneyev's Upon Reading a Psalm, Czech composer Milo Bok's Missa Solemnis, Luigi Boccherini's Villancicos, and Eugène Goossens' reorchestration of Handel's Messiah; as well as numerous world premieres, including Eric Funk's Pamelia, Seymour Bernstein's Song of Nature, and Robert Convery's The Unknown Region and I Have a Dream.
Most recently, in the summer of 2009, Maestro Griffith led his vocal ensemble, the Jonathan Griffith Singers, to the People's Republic of China, conducting two China Premieres of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: Music for Peace performed by the celebrated Xin Ya Kong Qi Symphony Orchestra at Beijing's Forbidden City Concert Hall and Shanghai's Oriental Arts Center. These highly anticipated concert events were recognized internationally, as they commemorated the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and China. In summer 2011, Griffith again will lead the Singers on a tour to Uruguay and Argentina in performances of Mozart's Requiem and other works.
He received his DMA in conducting from the Conservatory of Music/University of Missouri-Kansas City, Masters in Music Education from Wichita State University, and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Kansas.