Ellis Island: Guest Artists cover

Ellis Island: Guest Artists


Peter Boyer's Grammy-nominated “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” is a stirring work that celebrates the historic American immigrant experience with actors and projected images. The New Yorker’s critic Alex Ross described John Adams’ music as “present-tense American romanticism.” In celebration of the composer's 70th birthday, Pacific Symphony performs “The Dharma at Big Sur,” with Tracy Silverman, “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” (BBC Radio).
Be part of history! Join the audience on April 7-8 for the recording of the first-ever PBS “Great Performances” broadcast from Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
This is the second in a series of NoteStreams on tonight's performance. You'll be automatically linked to the next.
To learn more about PBS “Great Performances” please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

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Peter Boyer - Composer

Photo Credit: Danika Singfield

Peter Boyer - Composer

Grammy-nominated Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. His works have received more than 400 public performances by over 150 orchestras and 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.

Boyer has been commissioned by such institutions as the Boston Pops Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Pasadena Symphony and the American Composers Forum. His music has been commissioned, performed and recorded by prominent American conductors, including Gerard Schwarz, Keith Lockhart, Carl St. Clair, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, John Morris Russell, Thomas Wilkins, David Charles Abell, Robert Moody and Brett Mitchell.

Boyer’s music has been recorded for Naxos American Classics, BSO Classics, Koch International Classics, Albany, FWSO Live and Fanfare Cincinnati. His most recent recording, featuring his Symphony No. 1 and four other works with the LPO under his direction, was released by Naxos in 2014.

Boyer’s Silver Fanfare (commissioned by Pacific Symphony) was chosen to open the Hollywood Bowl’s seasons in both 2015 and 2016, in sold-out gala performances featuring the iconic rock bands Journey and Steely Dan, and was recently performed by The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2015, Boyer conducted shows for multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban on his Stages tour.

In 2010, Boyer was chosen for the Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary commission, honoring the legacy of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy. Boyer’s The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers was narrated by actors including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Alec Baldwin; and received 10 performances, two telecasts and a commercial recording. The premiere of Boyer’s work was attended by many members of the Kennedy family, and received extensive national media attention.

Boyer’s music has been performed in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall (five works, two premieres) and The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and Royce Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Tanglewood Music Center, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center, Cincinnati’s Music Hall and Costa Mesa’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

He has been recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studios (two albums) and AIR Studios. In recent seasons, he has served as composer-in-residence of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (2010-11) and the Pasadena Symphony (2012-13). His work has been profiled and/or reviewed in such media outlets as the Associated Press, USA TODAY, Variety, CNN.com, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Symphony Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone and many others. He holds the Helen M. Smith Chair in Music at Claremont Graduate University.

Boyer’s major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, for actors and orchestra, has received over 165 live performances by 75 orchestras since its 2002 premiere. Boyer’s recording of Ellis Island on the Naxos American Classics label was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Boyer has conducted performances with orchestras including the Pasadena Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as recording sessions in London and Los Angeles.

In addition to his concert hall work, Boyer is active in the film and television music industry. He has contributed orchestrations (orchestral arrangements) to more than 30 feature film scores from all the major movie studios, for leading Hollywood composers including Michael Giacchino, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman, the late James Horner, Alan Menken, Mark Isham and Harry Gregson-Williams.

Boyer has twice arranged music for the Academy Awards and composed music for The History Channel. His music has appeared in documentary film, short films and a variety of television programs. More information about his work can be found at PropulsiveMusic.com.

Tracy  Silverman  - Artist

Tracy Silverman - Artist

Lauded by BBC Radio as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin,” Tracy Silverman’s groundbreaking work with the six-string electric violin defies musical boundaries. Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School.

The world's foremost concert electric violinist, Silverman has contributed significantly to the repertoire and development of the six-string electric violin and the non-classical stylistic approach he calls “21st century violin playing,” inspiring several major concertos composed specifically for him, including Pulitzer winner John Adams’ The Dharma at Big Sur, premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the gala opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 and recorded with the BBC Symphony on Nonesuch Records with Adams conducting; legendary “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley’s The Palmian Chord Ryddle, premiered by Silverman with the Nashville Symphony in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and recorded by Naxos Records; Kenji Bunch’s Embrace concerto, co-commissioned by nine orchestras and premiered by Silverman in 2013 at Avery Fisher Hall among others; and Nico Muhly’s Seeing Is Believing, a full-orchestra version co-commissioned by five orchestras and premiered by Silverman in 2015 with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall among others.

Shortly after graduating in 1980, Silverman built one of the first-ever six-string electric violins and set his own course as a musical pioneer, designing and performing on an instrument that did not previously exist.

Silverman’s eclectic career has taken him to the world’s best concert halls to work with many of the world’s premier symphonies and conductors on world-class stages including, in addition to those mentioned above, the Detroit Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Adelaide Festival Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival; conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marin Alsop, Neeme Jarvi; Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Disney Hall, Linz’s Brucknerhaus and Sao Paulo’s Auditorio Ibirapuera among many others.

A true eclectic, Silverman has also recorded with the rock band Guster, contemporary music’s Paul Dresher Ensemble, jazz legend Billy Taylor and most recently on his new Delos/Naxos CD, Between the Kiss and the Chaos, with the acclaimed Calder Quartet.

This year will include the premiere of Silverman’s third electric violin concerto, Love Song to the Sun, a multi-media work, with a consortium of several orchestras including the Anchorage Symphony.

In the liner notes to The Dharma at Big Sur, John Adams writes, “Tracy has developed his own unique style of violin playing-a marvel of expressiveness.” At the premiere, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times enthused, “Inspiring. Silverman is in a class of his own.” The Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein wrote of Silverman’s “Blazing virtuosity. You will be astonished that anybody can play a fiddle like that” and Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, raved, “Fleet agility and tangy expressivity with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix.”

Tracy has appeared on numerous national TV and radio programs, including NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and A Prairie Home Companion, and was profiled on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. A long-standing advocate for music education, Silverman is an in-demand clinician and on the string faculty at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

To learn more about PBS “Great Performances” please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.