In demand as a conductor and historical keyboardist, Derek Tam performs regularly in the Bay Area and elsewhere. He is the executive director of the San Francisco Early Music Society, a major advocate for early music in the United States, and serves as the artistic director of the biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, an internationally-renowned celebration of early music.
Praised for his “deft” conducting (San Francisco Chronicle), Tam appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles. In addition, Tam is a specialist on historical keyboards, and has been called “a master of [the harpsichord]” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “the fortepianist of the beguiling fingers” (Bloomington Herald-Times). Recent concerto appearances include performances with Elevate Ensemble, Modesto Symphony, Chamber Music Silicon Valley, and the Hong Kong Early Music Society.
In addition to performing as a soloist, Tam is a founding member and harpsichordist (and occasional conductor) for MUSA, a San Francisco-based Baroque chamber ensemble. His fortepiano trio, the Costanoan Trio, performed at the 2018 Early Music America Emerging Artists Showcase. He has performed with leading period ensembles such as Voices of Music and Musica Pacifica, and has served as principal keyboardist for most of the professional symphonies in Northern and Central California.
Tam currently serves as the Director of Music at First Church Berkeley (First Congregational), one of the major performances venues for classical music in the East Bay. In this role, he also produces Resonance, the church’s critically-lauded performance series. He is also the Artistic Director of the Vallejo Choral Society, the oldest community choir in California.
Tam is president of the board of Early Music America, a national organization dedicated to strengthening historical performance.
Tam is a registered tax professional with the State of California. He is a graduate of Yale University.