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Peter Boyer

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Peter Boyer


Peter Boyer (b. 10 February 1970, Providence, R.I.) is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator, and professor of music.

Dr. Boyer received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College. While an undergraduate, USA TODAY newspaper named him to its first All-USA College Academic Team (1990), composed of "the 20 best and brightest" college students in the United States, and he received the Young American Award. He received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where he studied composition with Larry Alan Smith and Robert Carl and conducting with Harold Farberman. Boyer then studied privately with composer John Corigliano in New York, before relocating to Los Angeles to attend the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program at the USC Thornton School of Music. There Boyer studied with composers including Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Buddy Baker and Christopher Young. On completing his studies in 1996, Boyer was appointed to the faculty of Claremont Graduate University, and in 1999 he was named the first recipient of its Helen M. Smith Chair in Music. In 2003, Boyer established the publishing company Propulsive Music.

Boyer has received a number of significant commissions for his work. Among the many orchestras that have performed Boyer's works are the Boston Pops Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and Bamberg Symphony. In 2001, Boyer conducted the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in his debut commercial recording. On its release, Boyer became one of the youngest composers to have an entire album of his orchestral music recorded with a world-class orchestra and distributed by an international record label (Koch).

In 2003, Boyer conducted London's Philharmonia Orchestra in a recording of his work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, later working with a distinguished cast of actors in New York City to complete this recording project, which was released on the Naxos record label. The recording received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in the 48th annual Grammy Awards (2006).

In February 2010, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart announced that they had commissioned Boyer to compose a work entitled The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, celebrating the legacy of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy as the centerpiece of the orchestra's 125th anniversary season.

In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer is active in the film and television music industry. He has composed scores for The History Channel, and has served as an orchestrator for composers such as Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman, and James Newton Howard.

Boyer's awards include two BMI Student Composer Awards (1994 and 1996), the First Music Carnegie Hall commission of the New York Youth Symphony (1997), the Ithaca College Heckscher Prize in composition (2002), the Alumnus of the Year Award from The Hartt School (2002), an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Rhode Island College (2004), and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Composer's Award (2010).

Works for Winds