Derek Clark was born in Glasgow and studied at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Durham University and the London Opera Centre. He joined the music staff of Welsh National Opera in 1977 and joined Scottish Opera as Head of Music in 1997.
Derek Clark was born in Glasgow and studied at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Durham University and the London Opera Centre. He joined the music staff of Welsh National Opera in 1977 as a repetiteur, before making his conducting debut there in 1982 and going on to conduct a wide variety of opera for them, ranging from Monteverdi to Maxwell Davies.
Clark joined Scottish Opera as Head of Music in 1997, and since then has conducted Samson, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, The Barber of Seville, The Italian Girl in Algiers, Fidelio, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Falstaff, Orpheus in the Underworld, Carmen, Manon, Tosca, Madam Butterfly, La Bohème, Eugene Onegin, Hansel and Gretel, Inés de Castro and Clemency (James MacMillan), The Lady from the Sea (Craig Armstrong), all three seasons of the Five:15 series and, most recently, The Pirates of Penzance.
He has also re-orchestrated Hansel and Gretel, La Cenerentola, Die Fledermaus, Carmen and Rodelinda for Scottish Opera touring productions and has arranged the music for the highly successful ‘A little bit of...’ series run by Scottish Opera’s Education Department. Elsewhere, he has conducted Rory Boyle’s award-winning Kaspar Hauser: Child of Europe for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has assisted Sir Roger Norrington at the Edinburgh International Festival; he also works as a guest coach, accompanist and composer. Since 2011, Clark has been Music Director of Dundee Choral Union.