GRAMMY nominated Peter Boyer has emerged in recent years as one of the most frequently performed young American orchestral composers, whose music has been widely acclaimed for its dramatic strength and evocative power. Still in his mid-30s, his orchestral works have received nearly 200 public performances, by more than 60 orchestras. He has conducted recordings of his music with two of the world's finest orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia. His music has been performed in venues including New York's Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music, London's Abbey Road Studios, Los Angeles' Royce Hall and Shrine Auditorium, Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center, and Fort Worth's Bass Hall. His music has received many national and international radio broadcasts, including NPR in the U.S., Classic FM in the U.K., Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, Radio France, and also in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Australia. In 2001, at age 31, he became one of the youngest composers in the world to have an entire disc of his music recorded by a world-class orchestra and distributed by an international record label. Boyer has won six national competitions, including two BMI Awards, the First Music Carnegie Hall commission, and the Ithaca College Heckscher Prize. Orchestras which have performed his music include the Dallas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, and dozens of others.
Boyer's major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, which celebrates the historic American immigrant experience, has been his most successful composition to date. This work was commissioned by The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, and its premiere performance, by the Hartford Symphony under Boyer's direction, was broadcast on NPR's SymphonyCast. Ellis Island has been enjoying an extraordinary performance history, with over 80 performances by 40 orchestras from its debut in 2002 through the 2007-08 season, making it one of the most-performed large-scale American orchestral works of the last decade. Boyer's recording of the work with the Philharmonia Orchestra and a cast of Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winning actors, directed by Martin Charnin (co-creator of Annie), was released by Naxos in its American Classics Series in May 2005, and it received a GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer is active in the film and television industry. He recently composed scores for four episodes of The History Channel series Engineering an Empire. Boyer has contributed orchestrations to such film scores as Mission: Impossible III (Paramount), Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox), Open Range (Touchstone), First Daughter (Regency), and Against the Ropes (Paramount), among others. Film and television composers for whom he has orchestrated include Michael Giacchino, the late Michael Kamen, John Ottman, Graeme Revell, Bill Conti, and Mark Watters. Boyer has composed scores for several short films, including Covenant, which played at more than twenty film festivals in the U.S. and Europe. He has conducted music for the Fox Network show Boston Public, and in a departure from his usual work, he conducted the music of Aaron Copland on-camera for two national television commercials. Boyer's music is featured in the forthcoming documentary feature film From the 50 Yard Line
(Blake House Media).
Boyer's music has been praised in such publications as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, CNN.com, Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, which featured him in its "Fast Track: Rising Star" column. Boyer holds the Helen M. Smith Chair in Music at Claremont Graduate University, where he has taught since 1996. He also served as a conductor at the Henry Mancini Institute summer program from 1997-2002. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Boyer received his Bachelor's degree from Rhode Island College, which awarded him an honorary Doctor of Music degree in 2004. He received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, which named him its 2002 Alumnus of the Year. Following his doctoral work, Boyer studied privately with John Corigliano in New York, then relocated to Los Angeles, studying film music with Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Buddy Baker, Christopher Young and others at USC. In 2003, Boyer launched Propulsive Music, a publishing company representing his music.