Cary Boyce (b. 29 October 1955) is artistic co-director and composer-in-residence of the production company and musical ensemble Aguavá New Music Studio, which specializes in producing projects involving contemporary music.
Boyce's music has been heard around the world in more than 25 countries, on nationally syndicated public radio and television, in concert and festivals, and in two films by Prix-de-Rome-winning director Evelyne Clavaud — Aria ou les rumeurs de la Villa Medicís and her artistic documentary, Mandiargues: L'amateur d'imprudence, about the French Surrealist author. His credits include original music and the recording the soundtrack for the documentary American Horizons: The Photography of Art Sinsabaugh, part of the Sinsabaugh exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago and currently touring museums in the midwest. His oratorio, Dreams within a Dream, is the subject of a public radio special released in 2004. His music was featured on the Dale Warland Singers Cathedral Classics nationally syndicated radio special, as well as on their concerts in Minnesota. His music, performed by his Aguavá ensemble, has also been featured on such syndicated shows as Harmonia, Center Stage from Wolftrap, and CD-Tipp syndicated in Europe by Deutsche Welle. His cantata, Ave Maris Stella, was premiered by Aguavá New Music Studio at the International Cervantino Festival in Mexico, and subsequently broadcast throughout Latin America. His Hodie Christus natus est premiered at Washington National Cathedral's 50th anniversary holiday concert, winning the National Young Composers Award. His quartet, Nightshade, was recorded for Aguavá by the Corigliano String Quartet. Boyce is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including awards from Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Indiana Arts Commission. Boyce frequently tours with Aguavá as a pianist or singer.
Born in Santa Rosa, California, United States, Boyce was raised in Sacramento where he found his first musical training singing high school choruses and teaching himself to play the piano. He went on to earn a bachelor of music degree with a double major in voice and theory/composition at California State University, Sacramento, and later a master of music degree at the University of North Texas under the guidance of Martin Mailman with a cognate in piano studying with Joseph Banowetz. He earned his doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington with teachers Eugene O'Brien and Claude Baker with minors in conducting and theory.
Boyce also trained as a figure skater since he was 16, and skated with Holiday on Ice in Europe for a time in the early 80s. This experience added to his love of ballet and dance genres. He left professional skating to teach for Ice Capades Chalet at the Dallas Galleria while working on his master’s degree at the University of North Texas.
His education was assisted by scholarships and teaching fellowships while he worked steadily as a church and synagogue musician, a practice that shaped his understanding of choral genres. Between degrees Boyce traveled widely through the United States and Europe. Upon settling in Bloomington, Indiana, he has pursued a career based on his commitment to the idea of the composer as a voice for the community. He has been an active participant in artistic and musical outreach endeavors of the city, not only as a composer, but also as a producer and music essayist with public radio, online journals, major orchestras, and community presses.