People - Percussion Studies

Percussion Faculty: Simon Boyar

Driven by an intense musical vision and unparalleled virtuosity, Simon Boyar is reshaping the percussion landscape and transforming the marimba as a major instrument for all musical genres.  An accomplished solo artist, producer, composer/arranger, and educator, Boyar's talent's stretch across the music industry and have made him an important and influential artist in the 21st century.

Audiences around the world have marveled at Boyar's unstoppable performances and groundbreaking style. Reviewers have called him ‘pyrotechnic and miraculous,' and he was recently featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" and PBS' New Jersey News "State of The Arts" for breaking new ground in percussive music making. Additionally, he has had prominent features, mentions, and reviews in The New York Times, The Star-Ledger, Page Six--New York Post, Yamaha Signature Sounds, Downbeat Magazine, DCI Today, In Tune Monthly, Javeriana Estereo 91.9 FM, and The Puerto Rican Sun. 

As a classical soloist and section percussionist, Boyar has performed around the world and has appeared with artists such as John Adams, Lukas Foss, Evelyn Glennie, Joshua Bell, Emanuel Ax, Gilles Vonsattel, Guillermo Figueroa, Leon Botstein, David Leisner, Sergiu Comissiona, Harold Farberman, and George Manahan.  He has been a featured percussion soloist with dozens of orchestras and ensembles including The Juilliard Orchestra, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, The American Symphony Orchestra, The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, The Puerto Rico Symphony, The Korean Symphony Orchestra, The Fort Collins Symphony, The Orchard Park Symphony, Exit 9 Percussion Group, The Three Irish Tenors, Harpsichord Unlimited, Syren Modern Dance, and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice.  Boyar is also very active in the expansion of the modern percussion repertoire.  He was the first percussionist ever to perform a double concerto with violin (Harold Farberman) and guitar (Andrew Thomas) and to record and premiere the first work for solo marimba "Figment V," composed by Elliot Carter (Bridge Records).  In 2010, Boyar performed the world premiere of the first-ever marimba concerto by composer Frank Zappa, an arrangement of Zappa's "Revised Music for Guitar and Low Budget Orchestra" arranged by Tom Trapp (Arranger for Steve Vai, Nobuo Uematsu) and conducted by Jonathan Haas.  Simon has also performed the world premiere of marimba works by Daniel Levitan, Davide Zannoni, Andrew Thomas, David Eddleman, and NYC percussionist Javier Diaz.

An innovative writer and producer, Boyar has composed a vast repertoire of original lyrics, tracks, and songs, including the composition of an entire catalogue of concert music and children's songs.  Boyar also writes, mixes and produces music compositions for artists of all genres across the music industry.  He has collaborated on projects with world-class producers such as Peter Fish (6-time Emmy Award winner, All My Children), and Mike Garson (David Bowie, NIN, and Smashing Pumpkins) and has produced artists such as trumpet player Joey Pero and Indie song writer/commercial composer Ian Mcglynn.  Simon Boyar is also signed with Bachovich publications, the percussion world's most diverse and forward thinking publishing company.  

Notably, upon his graduation from The Juilliard School, Simon joined the faculty of the school's Pre-College Percussion Department. Boyar then became the youngest person ever to be named Department Director.  Under his guidance the program blossomed into a vibrant and animated proving ground for new ideas and insights into all areas of percussion. The program's success led to an invitation for Boyar to join the college faculty at NYU, where he has aided in the creation of a new marimba program unlike any of its kind -- The NYU Contemporary Marimba Ensemble (NYUME), an ensemble dedicated to teaching Boyar's unique approach and sound, one which he calls "The Boyar Method." Boyar has also recently championed his commitment to education through a partnership with The Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO, where he has shared his gifts with thousands of students through a combination of compositions, concerts, and artistic discussions. He has participated in workshops with The Bard Conductor's Festival Orchestra, The Conductor's Orchestra at Fredonia, and many community and student orchestras such as The National Taiwan Norman University Orchestra and The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band in his hometown of Hillsborough NJ.  Simon has also participated in instrumental festivals such as PASIC, CJMEA, and ITG.  He has appeared in master classes, lectures, and concerts at colleges and universities around the world.

Boyar is a Yamaha artist and performs on an YM-6000 Concert Grand Marimba. He uses Vic Firth mallets/sticks and is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team. He is also a proud former member of DCI's Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps.   His former teachers include Greg Zuber, David Fein, Greg Giannascoli, and the legendary Joe Morello.

Simon Boyar resides in Brooklyn, NY.