The Oxford Laptop Orchestra playing tethers in a performance workshop

The Oxford Laptop Orchestra playing tethers in a performance workshop

Rhodes Scholar Nick DiBerardino (b. 1989), hailed as a “bright young star” and a “first-rate talent” by the Portland Press Herald, composes music that is diverse in style but always oriented toward meaningful narrative arcs. His concert music has been described as "richly textured, multilayered" (Minnesota Star Tribune) and "energetic, driven... full of jostling and jarring tonal colors" (Broad Street Review). Nick has received recognition from many institutions, including the Music Teachers’ National Association, the National Federation of Music Clubs, the New York Art Ensemble, the Boston New Music Initiative, PARMA Recordings, the New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, and the American Composers' Forum. Other accolades include winning the Portland Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition, garnering a soundSCAPE Composition Prize, and receiving a Horizon Award from Connecticut's Westport Arts Advisory Committee, given to young artists who have achieved "measurable excellence" in their field. Nick's orchestral music has been performed by the American Composers' Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has also dabbled as a film composer; among his credits is Scholastic's film and audiobook adaptation of the Jon Klassen book "This is Not My Hat," work which received an AudioFile Earphones Award and was a finalist in the 2015 Audie Awards.

Nick earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University, where he founded the Undergraduate Composers Collective, was elected early to Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded the Edward T. Cone Memorial Prize for excellence in music theory and composition. At the University of Oxford, Nick obtained an M.Phil with distinction, co-founded and chaired the Oxford Laptop Orchestra, and was awarded the John Lowell Osgood Memorial Prize for composition. Nick also holds an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where he received the Charles and Philippa Richardson Memorial Scholarship and was awarded the Frances E. Osborne Kellogg Memorial Prize. He has furthered his studies with the New York Youth Symphony, the European American Musical Alliance, the Brevard Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Norfolk New Music Workshop, the highSCORE festival, the soundSCAPE festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where his work was featured on the Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music. He has been a composer fellow at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference and a composer-in-residence at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute. In 2017, he will attend the Music from Angel Fire festival as its Young Artist Composer-in-Residence. 

As a passionate advocate for new music, Nick has spoken to listeners both at home and abroad about his art, including an appearance on BBC Radio Oxford, an interactive performance workshop with the Oxford Laptop Orchestra at London's Barbican Theatre, and interviews on public radio and television in Philadelphia and Connecticut. Consistent with his belief in the transformative power of music, Nick also served as co-founder and director of “Back in Tune,” an initiative designed to provide underserved students in Bridgeport, Connecticut with musical instruction and to collect, refurbish, and distribute used instruments on their behalf. A committed teacher, Nick has worked as a teaching fellow and assistant at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, and four of the University of Oxford's Colleges. He serves as the musical studies lead instructor and curriculum coordinator at Curtis' Young Artist Summer Program and is currently composer-in-residence at the Luzerne Music Center, where he is on the composition and theory faculty. Nick is pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in composition at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he has studied with Jennifer Higdon and David Ludwig.