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In memoriam: Derrick Zieba

The renowned sound designer has passed away aged 59

Renowned sound designer Derrick Zieba, 59, passed away on 15 September after a recurrent illness.

From his early days at the National Theatre to this year’s BRIT Awards, Derrick managed the difficult feat of being both exceedingly competent and persuasive technically, ensuring no compromise was brooked in the path to perfect sound. He had the ability to charm even the most demanding live performer or producer.

These attributes proved invaluable to the many projects he worked on, especially when navigating the technical necessities of producing audio at events for live broadcast throughout the world, among them Chime For Change (2013), The Diamond Jubilee (2012) and the BRIT and the European Music TV Awards, where he led the audio teams for many years. (Derrick is pictured here with Bryan Grant of Britannia Row Productions, with whom Zieba had a long-time working relationship and close friendship.)

His was a considerable talent and he will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues within the industry. A ‘Derrick Zieba Memorial Page’ on facebook had been ‘liked’ by nearly 500 people at the time of writing.

PSNEurope contributor Simon Duff added his own tribute: “I met Derrick at this year’s BRIT Awards. His intelligent, calm, warm, good-humoured nature and technical brilliance shone through immediately. When I arrived at the 02, I was amazed at the challenges the audio department had overcome with Derrick steering the ship. Despite the huge pressure of the event, he gave me valuable time and critical insight, before, during and after the event.

“His passion for all types of music and theatre and realising the highest presentation formats was an inspiration. He knew so much but his modesty, empathy and compassion for those around him seemed to be fundamental to his outlook. A true great.”

Derrick is survived by his children Emily, James and Edward and sister Linda.

His funeral will be on the 24 Sept at 10.45am at the City of London Crematorium, Aldersbrook Rd, E12 5DQ (nearest station Manor Park.) There will be an ‘after show’ gathering at Chingford Golf Club (156 Station Rd, London E4 6AN) and all are welcome to attend.

The family has asked that well-wishers not send flowers but instead, make a donation to: The Margaret Central Special Purposes fund (SPF 8497). Cheques should be made payable to Barts Charity and mailed to Margaret Centre, Whipps Cross Hospital. Online donations can be made to

(With thanks to Simon Duff, Steve Moles & Britannia Row Productions)