The Kennedy Center

Jon Deak


A renowned American composer and performer, Jon Deak was born in 1943 in Hammond, Indiana. His works focus on “concert dramas” and “performance art,” with visual and theatrical fundamentals relating to pitch and rhythm. He attended Oberlin College, Julliard School and University of Illinois. On a Fulbright scholarship, he attended Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome. His works were greatly influenced by Salvatore Martirano, John Cage and the Soho performance art movement.

Deak’s longest narrative is the two-act musical of A Christmas Carol also known as Passion of Scrooge, based on Charles Dickens’ story but with varied changes. Similarly, some of his literary fictions are: Lucy and the Count, based on Stoker’s Dracula. Others include, The Bremen Town Musicians, and The Ugly Duckling.
Most of Jon Deak’s work are performed by the 20th Century Consort. His compositions are performed worldwide and by well-known orchestras namely, New York Philharmonic, Cincinnati, Chicago, Colorado and many others. His available recordings are on Centaur, CRI, Innova, and Cabrillo records.
Currently he is with New York Philharmonic as an Associate Principal Bassist and Creative Education Associate. He also teaches composition class in New York City public schools. In September 2000, in honor of Isaac Stern’s 80th birthday, he served as host, conductor and contrabass soloist when he led a youth concert at Carnegie Hall. In 1994 -97, he was granted a Round II New Residencies in partnership with The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The Colorado Children’s Chorale and Denver Public Schools.
Bibliography: index.cfm?page=profile&personNum
Jon Deak


  • "Jack and the Beanstalk," Concerto for Contrabass & Orchestra