A prominent instrumentalist, Jon Deak was for many years the Associate Principal Bassist of the New York Philharmonic. As a composer, he has written over 300 works, and has had his music played by Orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. His Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, “The Headless Horseman,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His music may also be heard on several TV series and many recordings.
In 1995 he founded the Very Young Composers, a national award-winning program, having since gone international in scope, whereby Public School children, age 9 – 13 have completely composed and orchestrated their own music for the New York Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, and ensembles across the country and on four continents. Jon Deak is the Young Composer Advocate of the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Deak was Composer-In-Residence with the Colorado Symphony from 1994-1997 under the Meet The Composer Residencies Program, which included affiliations with the Colorado Children’s Chorale and Denver Public Schools. Among the programs he inaugurated in connection with his Denver residency are: the “Source Project,” a new music series in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which brought together a stunning display of creativity by Colorado composers; and a restructuring of the pre-concert lecture format into a pre-concert “event” that includes drama and live music. Mr. Deak became a familiar figure around Denver as he moved from school to school teaching composition and creativity to young people of all ages and backgrounds.
Mr. Deak’s compositions have been performed at music festivals worldwide and by such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, National, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Seattle, New Jersey, Atlanta, Colorado, and many other symphony orchestras and chamber groups. His discography includes recent releases on Centaur, CRI, Innova, and Naxos records.
Mr. Deak regularly participates in fundraising events to aid symphony orchestras, and has been an outspoken environmental and educational advocate.
An avid wilderness mountaineer, he has led climbing expeditions into the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, and the Himalayas.