The acclaimed debut recording of GRAMMY®-nominated composer Peter Boyer with the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra is re-released by Propulsive Music. Featuring the works “Celebration Overture,” “Titanic,” “Three Olympians,” “The Phoenix,” “Ghosts of Troy,” and “New Beginnings,” the album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and originally released by Koch International Classics in 2001. Out of print since 2005, and remastered in 2007 for superior sonic quality, the recording is being reissued under Boyer’s own Propulsive Music label. In its original release, the recording enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and was broadcast extensively throughout the United States and Europe. The recording was produced by GRAMMY® winner Michael Fine.
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. 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 ABC in 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 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. His 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.
PRESS QUOTES on “The Music of Peter Boyer” with the London Symphony Orchestra, original release (2001)
“Peter Boyer makes a most impressive debut on disc as composer and conductor of his own music. ...At its finest, his music is attractive, finely crafted with a genuine humanity, refreshing for being nondidactic in these times of preachy self-importance. ...Boyer shows himself an assured podium figure, eliciting playing of tremendous drive and sympathy from a very engaged London Symphony Orchestra. This marks a most auspicious debut for a young composer we will definitely hear more from in the future.”
—Lawrence Johnson, South Florida Sun–Sentinel
“Boyer is, without question, a serious talent and a composer to watch.”
—David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
“Peter Boyer seems to have swallowed much of 20th-century American music whole and spit it back out with a gift for melody, a sense of wonder, fine craftsmanship, and a solid foundation in works that came before.”
—Daniel Buckley, Tucson Citizen
“Crowd-pleasing, tuneful music, confidently realised and sumptuously engineered... A burgeoning cinematic and theatrical flair informs the earliest piece here, the 1995 tone-poem ‘Titanic’... Ecstatically received by American audiences, it exhibits a formidable technical assurance... readily approachable and expertly scored... his versatility and skill are not in doubt... the LSO (and their superb brass in particular) have a field day under the composer’s lead... Spectacularly vivid sound, too.”
—Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone
“The ability to tell a story or paint a scene in music has been scorned for a while in academic circles, but it has never lost its fans among ordinary music-lovers, and in Boyer it has found a skilled, vigorous new champion.”
—Joe McLellan, classical music critic emeritus of The Washington Post, for RedLudwig.com
“...The sparkling and sure-handed music of Peter Boyer...expressed in characteristically exuberant, ingenious orchestration.”
—Steve Metcalf, The Hartford Courant
“...he can set a scene or create a mood rapidly and unambiguously; he writes with great flair for big orchestras. His manifest destiny is to compose music for Hollywood blockbusters. But, while waiting for the call from the major studios, he has composed several pieces for various American orchestras of unarguable effectiveness...” **** (for performance)
—Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine
“Peter Boyer’s style...is American to the marrow: rock-solid in technique, brimming with energy... The best works—the coruscating ‘Celebration Overture,’ and the strongly inventive ‘Three Olympians’—are excellent. ...the LSO is impressive throughout.”
—Malcolm Hayes, Classic FM Magazine
“Peter Boyer sums up laid-back American eclecticism... He conducts the London Symphony Orchestra (in brilliant, ebullient form) in his unashamedly accessible music, from a bouncy ‘Celebration Overture’ to evocations of Greek myth.”
—Martin Hoyle, The Mail on Sunday (UK national newspaper)
“...at least three of the pieces here strike me as potentially having a long life in the concert hall. Not bad for a composer barely out of his twenties. ...His tone poem ‘Titanic’...is far and away the most adventuresome music here harmonically, and, for a composer at that stage of his career, it is a remarkable work. ...The performances under the composer’s direction are wonderfully sonorous, and he gets splendid playing from the London Symphony, once again at the forefront of London’s virtuoso orchestras. Certainly a voice worth keeping an eye on...”
—John Story, Fanfare
“From that latter category [film composers] Boyer has embraced the value of making his music easily accessible, of speaking in large rhetorical and melodic gestures, of setting mood directly and unequivocally, of clothing his ideas in resourceful and colorful orchestration. From that former category [concert hall composers] he has learned to deploy the unexpected harmonic move, the clever juxtaposition of disparate melodic or rhythmic elements, the value of sound symphonic development... [On ‘Three Olympians’:] His string writing is resourceful, and, like everything else on this release, effective... If you are a fan of film music, then by all means acquire this one. It is beautifully conducted and performed by a most informed young composer.”
—William Zagorski, Fanfare