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Peter Boyer

Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue w/Biegel, LSO

Release Date: February 23, 2024

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1 Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue  

The Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue project by composer Peter Boyer and pianist Jeffrey Biegel continues to expand its reach, securing performance commitments from 54 orchestras in all 50 of the United States. In addition, reaching beyond the United States to achieve an international presence, Boyer and Biegel recorded the new Rhapsody with the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra for the acclaimed Naxos American Classics Series. Naxos will release this recording on February 23, 2024.

Biegel, a prolific pianist with an extraordinary record of commissioning new works for piano and orchestra, commissioned Boyer to compose this new work in celebration of the centennial of George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue (premiered February 12, 1924). Since 2020, Biegel has pursued a highly ambitious “Rhapsody National Initiative,” with the goal of performing Boyer’s new work with at least one orchestra in each of the 50 United States. As of January 2024, this remarkable vision has been fulfilled, and Boyer’s new Rhapsody will be performed by orchestras in all 50 states by the 2026-27 season (details below). This is believed to be an unprecedented feat for a new concerto by an American composer.

The Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue was recorded with Biegel as soloist, and Boyer conducting the London Symphony Orchestra at the famed AIR Studios, Lyndhurst Hall on November 27, 2023. Simon Rhodes, Senior Engineer at Abbey Road Studios, known for his work on projects such as the first two Harry Potter film scores, the Avatar film scores, and hundreds of classical albums and other film scores, was producer and engineer for the recording. Naxos will release the Rhapsody recording on February 23, 2024.This is Boyer’s fourth recording for the American Classics Series, and his third recording with the LSO as composer and conductor.

Boyer’s ca. 18-minute Rhapsody was premiered on June 30, 2023, with Biegel and the Utah Symphony conducted by Benjamin Manis, on the opening night of the Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City, Utah. An outdoor audience of more than 3,000 rewarded the new work with a prolonged standing ovation — a reaction which has been repeated by audiences at each subsequent performance, by nine different orchestras to date.

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