“A formidable composer whose technique and lyric gifts are exceptional.”
Cary Boyce is artistic co-director and composer-in-residence of the production group and new music ensemble, Aguavá New Music Studio, which specializes in projects involving contemporary music at the highest levels. Often praised for balance of emotional expression and the strength of architecture in his music, Boyce has earned critical and professional accolades for his extraordinary music for voices.
Boyce's music has been heard around the world in more than 25 countries, on nationally syndicated public radio and television, in concerts and festivals, and in two films by Prix-de-Rome-winning director Evelyne Clavaud — Aria ou les rumeurs de la Villa Medicís and her artistic documentary, Mandiargues: L'amateur d'imprudence, about the French Surrealist author. Boyce's credits also include original music for the soundtrack of the documentary American Horizons: The Photography of Art Sinsabaugh, part of the Sinsabaugh exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago and currently touring museums in the United States. His oratorio, Dreams within a Dream, is the subject of a public radio special released in 2004. Boyce's Ave Maria was featured on the Dale Warland Singers' Cathedral Classics nationally syndicated radio special, as well as on their concerts in Minnesota. The work has been selected for the Dale Warland Choral Music Series with G. Schirmer. Boyce's music, performed by Aguavá New Music Studio, has also been featured on such syndicated shows as Harmonia, Center Stage from Wolftrap, and CD-Tipp in Europe, syndicated by Deutsche Welle. His cantata, Ave Maris Stella, was premiered by Aguavá at the International Festival Cervantino in Mexico, and subsequently broadcast throughout Latin America by the BBC. His Hodie Christus natus est premiered at Washington National Cathedral's 50th anniversary holiday concert, winning the National Young Composers Award. His quartet, Nightshade, was recorded for Aguavá by the Corigliano String Quartet. Current projects include The Flower of Departure, a concerto for viola, chorus, and orchestra for Israeli-American violist Atar Arad.
Boyce is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including awards from Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Indiana Arts Commission. Most recently, he was given an ASCAP 2006 Rudolf Nissim Prize "Special Distinction" Award for his oratorio Dreams within a Dream, a commission and premiere from the Bloomington Chamber Singers in 2003. Boyce frequently tours with Aguavá as a pianist or singer.
Born in Santa Rosa, California in 1955, Cary Boyce was raised in Sacramento, where he found his first musical training by singing in high school choruses and teaching himself to play the piano. He went on to earn a doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington with teachers Eugene O'Brien and Claude Baker with minors in conducting and theory. Boyce has pursued a career based on his commitment to the idea of the composer as a voice for the community. He has been an active participant in diverse artistic and musical outreach endeavors of the city, not only as a composer, but also as a producer and music essayist with public radio, online journals, major orchestras, and community presses. The music of Cary Boyce is published by Boosey & Hawkes and by Aguavá New Music Studio, and pending with G. Schirmer. He remains active as a tenor, pianist, and conductor as well.