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Date: May 23, 2011
Hofstra Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Concert Featured World Premiere of a New Musical Composition by Renowned Japanese ComposerHofstra University, Hempstead, NY … At its annual spring concert on Saturday, May 7, 2011, the Hofstra Symphonic Band, directed by Peter Loel Boonshaft, premiered a new musical composition, “Pompeii,” by Satoshi Yagisawa, one of Japan’s most preeminent composers.
Mr. Yagisawa flew to New York from Japan in order to rehearse with the students on April 5, allowing them the unique and enlightening opportunity to work on a new piece with the internationally renowned composer. “Pompeii,” was commissioned by Hofstra to be performed by the Symphonic Band.
Dr. Boonshaft says he started the process of commissioning the work a few years ago, after being profoundly impressed by several of the composer's works; especially two other pieces which are part of the composer's “Mysteries of the Universe” series. Dr. Boonshaft contacted his publisher and shortly thereafter was in direct contact with Mr. Yagisawa.
When asked if the language barrier was an issue during Mr. Yagisawa’s rehearsal with the students, Dr. Boonshaft explained, “He is such a dynamic and intense person. How he wanted the music performed showed on his face. He was able to communicate through language, expression and movement how he wanted the music performed. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students.”
Dr. Boonshaft himself is one of the nation’s leading specialists in instrumental music education. He is a professor of music and the director of bands at Hofstra. He is conductor of the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, professor of conducting and music education, and director of the graduate wind conducting program. He is the author of several books on music education, including Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He is also active as a proponent of new literature for concert band and has commissioned and conducted over 40 world premieres by notable composers. Dr. Boonshaft has been awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi, as well as twice receiving the University of Hartford Regent's Award and that University's Outstanding Music Educator Award. His honors include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts "Artist in Residence,” three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University.
For more information on Hofstra’s Music Department visit www.hofstra.edu/music .