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Benjamin Boone

Fresno, CA         

Benjamin Boone was born and raised in the small textile town of Statesville, N.C. Since then, his compositions have been performed in over twenty-four countries — from Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Disney Hall to China, Japan, Australia, Africa, South American and Eastern/Western Europe — and appear on over twenty CDs of performers/groups such as the Electronic Music Foundation, Vox Novus, the National Flute Choir and the New Century Saxophone Quartet. His works have also been featured in film (Guy Livingston’s One Minute More), and have been the subject of stories aired on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” (his native-american themed cantata "Ascencion"), Bavarian National Radio (multiple projects), California Public Radio’s “The California Report” (his mariachi-themed orchestral work "Fresno Sin Frenos"), and French television. In 2012 French saxophonists hosted a two-day conference in Bordeaux with the theme “The Saxophone Music of Benjamin Boone.” His works have garnered over eighteen national/international honors and awards from the International Society of Contemporary Music, the Olympia International Prize for Composition, Billboard Magazine, the National Association of Composers, The American Music Center, the American Composer’s Forum, ASCAP, Meet the Composer/Southeastern Arts Federation, the National Flute Association, the Southeastern Composers’ League, the Delius Foundation, and Boston University, among others.

As a saxophonist specializing in the performance of new music, Boone has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe in a number of settings, including performing world premieres of several works. His debut jazz CD, “The Benjamin Boone Quartet: Live with Steve Mitchell” broke into the national airplay charts and remained in the top 100 for three weeks. Saxophone Journal highlighted Boone’s playing in the article “A Lesson With Benjamin Boone” (Vol. 30, No. 2). He has recorded extensively for the renowned Bayerischer Rundfunk Studio Franken with German violinist/composer Stefan Poetzsch, including the Capstone Records CD, “Eastbound-Westbound” and the one-hour music special “Delays.”

Boone has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Fundación Valparaíso (Spain), the Aspen Music Festival Center for Compositional Studies/Advanced Master Class Program, "Words and Music" (international composition symposium sponsored by Indiana University and the United States Information Service), A*deVantgarde Festival für Nueue Musik, Munich/Office of the American Consulate, the North Carolina Arts Council Composition Fellowship and the Tennessee Arts Commission Composition Fellowship.

Boone has presented guest lectures and master classes at the Academy of Music (Moldova), the University of Magdeburg (Germany), the University of Erlangen (Germany), Charles University (the Czech Republic), the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and the Buenos Aires Festival of Saxophone, among many others in the US. He has been in residence at festivals and colonies such as Fundación Valparaíso (Spain), May in Miami, June in Buffalo, the Bowling Green New Music Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Aspen Music Festival and he has given presentations at conferences such as the Society of Composers (national and regional), National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance (national and regional), National Association of Composers, World Saxophone Congress, Society for New Music, Conference on American Culture, Music Education Association, and International Trumpet Guild.

In addition, Boone has assisted a biologist with the infrasonic recording of rhinoceros vocalizations in Zimbabwe and Zambia; served as a music business manager in New York City; researched the effect of University interaction with students at a Court School; and designed Service-Learning and Civic Engagement best-practices.

Boone primarily studied with Bernard Rands, Gordon Goodwin, Charles Fussell, John A. Lennon and Jerry Coker at the University of Tennessee (BM), Boston University (MM) and the University of South Carolina (DMA). Post-graduate work in improvisation at Manhattan School of Music.

9-11: Voices Echo, Movement I: Attack

Much of the raw material for this piece was written on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. I didn’t know what else to do – how else to digest the horror that was unfolding. Later, I invited students at Cal State Fresno to come to the studio and record anything they would like to say. The voices you hear are theirs. In this movement, voices searching to digest the horror they saw unfold. Voices trying to make sense out of a tragedy. Young voices searching and hoping. CSU Fresno Wind Ensemble, Larry Sutherland, Director.

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9-11: Voices Echo, Movement II: Aftermath

In this movement, the students’ comments revolve around trying to put the tragedy in perspective. They attempt to foresee what 9/11 might mean for their future, and for the future of the United States culturally and globally. The work ends with statements of hope and optimism. CSU Fresno Wind Ensemble, Larry Sutherland, Director. This work is published by GPG Publications.

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The World of Ascención cantata

This is the feature story that aired nationally on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” Ascención Solórsano de Cervantes (1854-1930) was the last of the California Amah-Mutsun (San Juan) tribal band to retain complete linguistic and cultural fluency of her people. This two-hour multi-media work in two Acts incorporates pre-recorded sound effects/music (recordings of mission bells and choir), projected images, light effects, spatial sound effects, and live performance. Benjamin Boone, music; Helene Joseph-Weil: libretto, researcher and director.

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