Derek Gomez was born and raised in Vancouver. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music, where he studied with Vladimir Orloff. He performed with the Thunder Bay Symphony and Windsor Symphony before joining the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1983.
In addition to performing chamber music and playing for film scores and commercials, Mr. Gomez has been involved in recordings for CBC, the National Film Board, and private studios in Edmonton. He and other members of the Debut String Quartet were Canada's first finalists in the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Derek comes from four generations of professional classical musicians. His great-grandfather was the clarinetist Manuel Gomez. Manuel was a founding member of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1904 and is believed to have been responsible for introducing the Boehm system of keys on the clarinet to the United Kingdom.
The four generations of Gomez classical musicians almost didn't happen. In 1912, the London Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to take the Titanic for their first tour of North America. Due to a delay in the maiden voyage of the Titanic, they ended up taking a different liner - the Baltic. The musicians learned of the fate of the Titanic while on their tour.
Derek's grandfather, Harry Gomez, was a violinist/violist in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He founded the Delta Youth Orchestra, of which Derek was a member. In the early part of his career, Harry played in the pit orchestra for silent movies. Two generations later, Derek has also played music accompanying silent films with the ESO.
Derek is also a web designer and has created and maintained many websites for arts groups in Edmonton since 2000, including the first websites for the Winspear Centre and ESO.