Tune in to Intermezzo at 1:00pm this week to hear host Chris Wolf features the music of the wonderful American composer Peter Boyer.

On July 8th, Naxos released on their American Classics Series of CDs a recording called “Balance of Power: Orchestral music of Peter Boyer”.


For those who are unfamiliar with Peter Boyer, he is currently one of the most sought after composers, arrangers and conductors in the world today. His music has been performed by more than 200 Orchestras throughout the world; often with Boyer himself conducting the ensemble. He has written for film, and done orchestrations for some of the most well-known film composers around. He has received commissions from the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, The Boston Pops Orchestra, United States Marine Band, to name just a few. Boyer received a Grammy Nomination for his piece “Ellis Island: the Dream of America,” and has worked as the Composer and Residence for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and his list of accolades goes on and on.

Peter Boyer has distinguished himself as one of the foremost American composers of his generation. His gift of melody, harmonic textures and mastery of orchestration create a musical voice that is reminiscent of the “American sound” that was honed and fostered by composers such as Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and John Williams.

Boyer has recorded four CDs of his own music, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, with himself conducting. In regards to this latest CD that he recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Boyer states, “it is a truly a fantastic experience… these recordings represent milestones for me personally… they also represent a culmination of months or even years of work. Even with a very first read with an orchestra like the London Symphony Orchestra is stunning and completely overwhelming! The composer in me is going ‘this is the greatest Christmas morning you ever had as a kid!”

“Balance of Power” features music that was largely commissioned from Boyer for various occasions, such as, the 95th birthday of Dr. Henry Kissinger, the 220th Anniversary of the President’s Own United States Marine Band, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

The centre piece on the recording is Boyer’s “Balance of Power” which pays tribute to former American Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger. This music was commissioned by the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts with funding from philanthropist and former US Ambassador to Finland Bonnie McElveen-Hunter. Boyer had the occasion to have lunch with Kissinger and his wife to better understand the man, and get ideas for the piece. As Boyer says, “I can’t possibly turn down an opportunity to have lunch with Henry Kissinger. How many composers get such an opportunity? Kissinger only had only two specific things that he said (about the piece) ‘please don’t make it to abstract so I can understand it….and could it be a humorous symphony.”

All of the music on this latest recording is remarkable, and the circumstances surrounding the various compositions are often quite interesting. An example of this is Boyer’s piece “Fanfare for Tomorrow" written in just ten days for the inauguration of President Joe Biden. As Boyer says, “I received the invitation on January 1st of 2021 to write a piece for the inauguration…I was told I needed to have it done in ten days! I had written a one minute solo piece for horn called ‘Fanfare for Tomorrow.’  and I thought this piece really has the potential to be expanded into something else. ” The resulting work ended up being a truly exceptional piece that was performed by the United States Marine Band at the Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Peter Boyer’s latest recording “Balance of Power” is truly something special! The music is cinematic, and highly memorable. The London Symphony Orchestra, under Boyer’s direction give tremendous performances of his music, and the recording quality of this Naxos CD is first rate. This is a really remarkable recording!

Tune in to Intermezzo at 1:00pm all this week as host Chris Wolf features the music of Peter Boyer. Music on the CD “Balance of Power” will be showcased as well as other works by Boyer, such as his Symphony No. 1 and his Grammy nominated work. “Ellis Island-The Dream of America.”