Zelman Bokser (1951-2018) was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, from which he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He served as a Mellon Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow at Eastman, and as an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Dr. Bokser was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards including Composer's Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975-76 and 1983-84) and from state arts councils of New York, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and from CAPS in New York City.
He taught and conducted at the college level for years and then spent several years in Taiwan. He returned as a practicing Shinnyo En Buddhist active in his temple life and spent the last approximately 20 years teaching in the NYC school system. He brought violin programs to elementary schools in Bushwick and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and most recently was a music teacher and conducter at the Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn.