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The Des Moines Symphony presents Peter Boyer's Suite from Ellis Island: The Dream of America on Iowa Public Radio

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The program highlights an immigrant's journey to America, featuring Peter Boyer's Suite from Ellis Island: The Dream of America. The Ellis Island Honors Society recently announced that Peter Boyer is among the recipients of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This award is "highly prestigious" and is officially recognized by the United States Congress.

Boyer's Grammy-nominated 2001 composition "brings elements of the theatre and multimedia into the concert hall, employing actors and projected historical images from the Ellis Island archives." Spoken texts are taken from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, a "historic collection of interviews from actual immigrants." Boyer chose "stories of seven immigrants who came to America through Ellis Island from disparate nations between 1910-1940." The Des Moines Symphony will be performing the Suite, which incorporates five of the seven. Using the actual words of these immigrants, he "wove them into an orchestral tapestry which frames and comments on their stories." The work is "poignant, humorous, moving, and inspiring." 

Celebrate the journey to the New World with the Des Moines Symphony on IPR Classical's Symphonies of Iowa on Sunday, April 21st at 4 p.m. and Monday, April 22nd at 7 p.m. Listen below to hear exclusive Iowa Public Radio interviews with composer Peter Boyer, pianist Aaron Diehl and Maestro Joseph Giunta.