Martin Boykan


Martin Boykan (1931-2021) studied composition with Walter Piston, Aaron Copland and Paul Hindemith, and piano with Eduard Steuermann. He received a BA from Harvard University, 1951, and an MM from Yale University, 1953. In 1953–55 he was in Vienna on a Fulbright Fellowship, and upon his return founded the Brandeis Chamber Ensemble whose other members included Robert Koff (Juilliard Quartet), Nancy Cirillo (Wellesley), Eugene Lehner (Kolisch Quartet) and Madeline Foley (Marlborough Festival). This ensemble performed widely with a repertory divided equally between contemporary music and the tradition. At the same time Boykan appeared regularly as a pianist with soloists such as Joseph Silverstein and Jan de Gaetani. In 1964–65, he was the pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Boykan has written for a wide variety of instrumental combinations including 4 string quartets, a concerto for large ensemble, many trios, duos and solo works, song cycles for voice and piano as well as instrumental ensembles and choral music. His symphony for orchestra and baritone solo was premiered by the Utah Symphony in 1993, and his concerto for violin and orchestra was premiered by Curt Macomber in 2008 with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose. His work is widely performed and has been presented by almost all of the current new music ensembles including the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, The New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the League ISCM, Earplay, Musica Viva and Collage New Music.

He received the Jeunesse Musicales award for his String Quartet No.1 in 1967 and the League ISCM award for Elegy in 1982. Other awards include a Rockefeller grant, NEA award, Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright, as well as a recording award and the Walter Hinrichsen Publication Award from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1994 he was awarded a Senior Fulbright to Israel. He has received numerous commissions from chamber ensembles as well as commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, and the Fromm Foundation. In 2011 Boykan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.

At present Boykan is an Emeritus Professor of Music, Brandeis University. He has been Composer in Residence at the Composer's Conference in Wellesley and the University of Utah, Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York University and Bar Ilan University (Israel) and has lectured widely in institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, The American Academy in Berlin, etc. He has served on many panels, including the Rome Prize, the Fromm Commission, the New York Council for the Arts (CAPS) and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Over the years he has taught many hundreds of students including such well known composers as Steve Mackey, Peter Lieberson, Marjorie Merryman and Ross Bauer.

ACE Publications

31 title(s)
Martin Boykan THREE PSALMS Soprano, piano
Martin Boykan VOYAGES Soprano, piano
Martin Boykan ECLOGUE -
fl, hn, vla, vcl, pf
Martin Boykan NOCTURNE cello, piano, percussion
2+pic, 2+EH, 2+bscl, 2+cbsn; 432+bstbn,1, timp, perc(1), hp, strings, Baritone solo 4th movement
1(+picc)02(2=bcl)1 - 1110 - hp, pno, 1111

Additional Works

Works with other publishers:

CF Peters, unless otherwise noted;


City of Gold for solo flute (1996)

Echoes of Petrarch for flute, clarinet, and piano (1992)

Fantasy-Sonata for Piano  (1986)

Impromptu for violin solo (1993)

Piano Sonata No. 2 (1990) [aka Sonata No. 2 for Piano)

Piano Trio No. 1 for violin, cello, piano (1975)  (published by Mobart Music) - commissioned by Fromm Foundation.

Piano Trio No. 2 for violin, cello, and piano (1997) - CRI CD 841

Psalm 126 for chorus (1965) --published by Mobart (Schott) Music

Sontata (No. 1) for violin and Piano (1994)

Sonata for Cello and Piano (1992)

Sonata for Violin Solo (1998) recorded on CRI CD 898

String Quartet No. 1 (1967)

String Quartet No. 2 (1974)  (published by Mobart Music)

String Quartet No. 3 (1984)

String Quartet No. 4 (1995-96)