Jon Deak, Associate Principal Bassist and Creative Education Associate of the New York Philharmonic, is also a prominent composer. He was educated at Oberlin College, The Juilliard School, the University of Illinois, and as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. His training includes work in the visual arts, and he was active in the "performance art" movement in New York's SoHo. He now teaches a composition class in the New York City public schools that his own children attend. In September 2000, Mr. Deak was chosen to lead a youth concert at Carnegie Hall in honor of Isaac Stern?s 80th birthday, in which he served as host, conductor, and contrabass soloist.
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 Cabrillo records.
Mr. Deak recently completed a successful three-year appointment as Composer-In-Residence with the Colorado Symphony 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 regularly participates in fundraising events to aid symphony orchestras, and has been an outspoken environmental advocate. An avid wilderness mountaineer, he has led climbing expeditions into the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, and the Himalayas. He was chairman of the New York Philharmonic Artistic Advisory Committee which helped select Kurt Masur as the Philharmonic's Music Director. He also participated in Leonard Bernstein's historic Freiheitskonzert (Freedom Concert) in what was then East Berlin, on Christmas Day l989, an event he regards as one of the musical highlights of his life.