Musical Theatre Composer & Writer

Ernie Bird is a queer musical theatre composer & writer, arranger, and orchestrator, born and raised in Ukraine. Coming from the singer-songwriter world, Ernie finished the Musical Theatre Writing minor at Berklee College of Music (while double majoring in Music Production & Engineering and Music Management; 2017). Later he finished NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (2020), where he got a full competitive scholarship, and composed for two full-length musicals. Ernie continues to compose for musical theatre and standalone pieces, film scoring, solo piano music, and scoring for podcasts. His music is eclectic, combines instinctive and catchy phrases with daring patterns and chromatic elements. His major influences are Steve Reich, Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Max Richter, Stephen Sondheim, Adam Guettel, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johann Johannsson, Hans Zimmer, Ralf Hütter, Nikolai Kapustin & Georgy Sviridov.

Most notable awards include:

  • Winner of the International Songwriting Competition 2012, Nashville.
  • Semi-finalist of the International Songwriting Competition of 2013, 2017 and 2018, Nashville.
  • Finalist of the Curtain Up Musical Theatre Songwriting Competition of 2017 and 2020 (2021), Boston.
  • Full Scholarship at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
  • Finalist of the Theatre Now New York Sound Bites Festival, NYC, 2020 (2022).

Ernie Bird is also a guest composer at Columbia University’s MFA Playwriting Program. He’s also part of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. His songs were performed by Wicked’s Kara Lindsay and GBBO’s Matt Lucas, and featured on Apple Podcasts, the NYT, and Chicago Sun-Times. For more press, click here.

(Please note that Ernie Bird & Ernest Deriabin are the same person, with Ernie Bird being used more frequently since 2018)

“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ernie Bird and his music for the past year. […] From listening to the very first notes, I knew Ernie’s musical voice could invoke character and string dramatic arcs in a special and unique way. Ernie brings both craft and instinct to each new piece, resulting in music theater that feels fresh and exciting.”
– Zach Redler, Composer (The Falling and The Rising, The Memory Show)

“Ernie Bird is an original, a gifted musical storyteller who writes bold and emotionally stirring compositions”
– Michael Wartofsky, Musical Theatre Composer (Car Talk: The Musical!!!, Cupcake)

If you would like to hear Ernie Bird’s compositional work sorted by musicals, please follow the link here.

For the most recent artistic CV and list of musicals, click here.

Ballads

I Want/ What If/ Showstoppers

Uptempo

Comedy

Short Musicals

Also Arranged/ Orchestrated by Ernie Bird

Lyrics by Ernie Bird

Singer-Songwriter/Pop

Piano Compositions

Electronic