Derek Tam


In demand as a conductor and historical keyboardist, Derek Tam performs regularly in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

Praised for his “deft” conducting (San Francisco Chronicle​), Tam appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles. He has appeared recently with Bay Pointe Ballet, the First Church Festival Orchestra, Oakland Ballet, and the Oshman Family JCC.

A specialist on historical keyboards, Tam 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, and Chamber Music Silicon Valley.

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 the Artistic Director of the Star Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC), and was recently appointed the Artistic Director of the Vallejo Choral Society, the oldest community choir in California.

He has served on the faculty of the NAPA Music Festival and the San Francisco Early Music Society Recorder Workshop, and has been on staff at the American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy.

He is also the executive director of the San Francisco Early Music Society, a major advocate for early music in the United States and the presenter of the biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. He is on the board of Early Music America, a national organization dedicated to strengthening historical performance. He is a graduate of Yale University.