Douglas Boyce

Composer
American, 1970-

A founding member of counter)induction, composer Douglas Boyce writes chamber music that bridges the medieval and the modern, the visceral and the cerebral. Praising his Quintet “l’homme armé”, Allan Kozinn in The New York Times, wrote “he couches [the medieval melody] in such thoroughly modern scoring that the ear is lured to other things, including the juxtaposition of eerie string writing with playful material for the clarinet and piano, or the lively interplay among all five instruments.”

Mr. Boyce was born in New York City in 1970. After performing with various punk rock bands in the greater New York metropolitan area, he attended Williams College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Music, with honors, in 1992. He holds an MM from the University of Oregon, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where, in 1999, he was awarded the Weiss Prize in Composition for Trois Complaintes. He has attended the Master-Class in Composition at the Aspen Festival, the Czech-American Summer Music Institute in Prague, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium. During the summers of 2000 and 2002, he was a resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has studied with George Crumb, James Primosch, Kathryn Alexander, Robert Kyr, Judith Weir, Ladislav Kubik and Robert Suderburg.

His works have been performed in Philadelphia, New York, Aspen, Frankfurt and Prague. His work Palimpsest: A Composition of Maps, commissioned by Concert Artists’ Guild for violinist Asmira Woodward-Page, was recently premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Well Hall in New York. His work Song of Rain and Wind for violin, cello, piano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone was commissioned by the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music of Catholic University as part of the Songs of the Forgotten War project, which commissioned nineteen different composers honoring the 50th anniversary of the Korean War. The score of his La Guerra de la Dríada, commissioned by the George Washington University for tenor Robert Baker, will be published in the Society of Composers, Inc. Journal of Music Scores, and his work Quintet “l’homme armé” was a winner in the 2005 League of Composers/ISCM Composers Competition. Recently, his work 102nd & Amsterdam for string trio won the 2005 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award.

Mr. Boyce remains active as a scholar of medieval music, an improviser, and conductor. Current projects include A Book of Songs, for tenor Robert Baker, Etudes for clarinet, cello and piano for the Contemporary Music Forum, and Forks of Buffalo, a work for guitar and percussion, commissioned by the Irving Lippel Project. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Selected works by Douglas Boyce:
“A gentleman brought music to his lady's window, who hated him,...and when he persisted, she threw stones at him. Whereupon a friend of his that was within his company, said to him; "What greater honour can you have to your music, than that stones come about you, as they did to Orpheus."”
--Francis Bacon