Photo by Dario Acosta
Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. His works have received over 600 public performances by more than 200 orchestras, and tens of thousands of broadcasts by classical radio stations around the United States and abroad. He has conducted recordings of his music with three of the world’s finest orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, for actors and orchestra, has received over 250 performances by more than 100 orchestras, and was nationally televised with the Pacific Symphony on PBS’ Great Performances. Naxos Records recently released Boyer’s fourth album, with the London Symphony Orchestra under his direction, which spent four consecutive weeks on the Billboard Classical Chart, and was critically praised by Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine.
Boyer has received commissions from prestigious American institutions and ensembles, including the Kennedy Center for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for the Cincinnati Pops, the Pacific Symphony, and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, which premiered his Fanfare for Tomorrow at the inauguration of President Biden. Other orchestras which have performed Boyer’s music include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Nashville Symphony. He served as Composer-in-Residence of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony. In 2010, Boyer composed the Boston Pops 125th anniversary commission, The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was narrated by acclaimed actors including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Alec Baldwin.
In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer’s career has included work in the film and television music industry. He has contributed orchestrations to more than 35 film scores from all the major movie studios, for several leading Hollywood composers. He has arranged music for the Academy Awards, and composed music for The History Channel. His music has appeared in documentary films, short films, and a variety of television programs. He holds the Helen M. Smith Chair in Music at Claremont Graduate University. In 2019, Boyer received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of the most prestigious American awards. In 2023, his work Today We Ask, commissioned by ORA Singers to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, was premiered at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, London, and broadcast by Classic FM. More information can be found at PropulsiveMusic.com.