Naxos Releases Recording of Composer Peter Boyer with the London Symphony Orchestra
Boyer’s fourth album features Balance of Power, commissioned by the Kennedy Center; Fanfare for Tomorrow, commissioned for President Biden’s inauguration; and other premiere recordings, conducted by the composer.
On July 8, 2022, Naxos releases American composer/conductor Peter Boyer’s newest recording, with the London Symphony Orchestra under his direction. The album includes eight of Boyer’s works, with six world premiere recordings.
The centerpiece of the album is Balance of Power, a three-movement, 19-minute work commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in honor of the 95th birthday of Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State. The National Symphony Orchestra premiered Balance of Power at the Kennedy Center in September 2021. The recording also features Fanfare for Tomorrow, commissioned and premiered by the U.S. Marine Band at the inauguration of President Joseph Biden, in a new orchestral version.
The album includes two works originally commissioned and recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as the Cincinnati Pops: Rolling River (Sketches on “Shenandoah”), a setting of the American folk tune, and In the Cause of the Free, on the theme of Veterans Day. Additional works include Curtain Raiser, an exuberant opener; Elegy for English horn, harp and strings; Fanfare, Hymn and Finale, originally commissioned for the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Band; and Radiance, a string orchestra work composed especially for this recording.
“It was truly a thrill to record this new album of my music with the London Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s greatest orchestras,” said Boyer. “Speaking as both a composer and conductor, one could not ask for a finer or more versatile ensemble. The glorious sound of the LSO has been part of my life since I was young, both through their work on iconic film scores including Star Wars and so many others, and through their incredible legacy of recordings.”
This is Boyer’s third album in the Naxos American Classics Series, following his GRAMMY-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and his Symphony No. 1 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Boyer stated: “I’m delighted to have my work included again in a series which features many of the greatest American composers—from Copland, Gershwin, Barber, Bernstein, Ellington, and Ives to contemporary giants such as Adams and Corigliano. It’s certainly meaningful to be in such musical company.”
Recorded at London’s Henry Wood Hall with more than 90 musicians, the album was produced by Simon Rhodes, Senior Engineer at Abbey Road Studios and four-time GRAMMY winner, whose credits include some 200 film scores for composers including John Williams, James Horner, and Thomas Newman.
Boyer’s debut recording as composer/conductor was with the LSO at Abbey Road Studios in 2001, for The Music of Peter Boyer, originally released by Koch International Classics. After more than twenty years, tracks from that recording continue to be broadcast widely on American classical radio.
Photos by Benjamin Ealovega