Ellis Island: The Dream of America

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Ellis Island: The Dream of America is a work for actors and orchestra with projected images by American composer Peter Boyer, composed in 2001-02, commissioned by the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. The work combines first-person narrations of seven immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island between 1910 and 1940, selected by Boyer from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, with Boyer’s original orchestral music. The work has received over 170 performances by more than 75 orchestras. A recording of the work released on the Naxos record label was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in the 48th annual Grammy Awards.[1] In April 2017, performances by Pacific Symphony of Ellis Island: The Dream of America were filmed for broadcast on PBSGreat Performances series in the 2017-18 broadcast season.[2][3]


  1. ^ Associated Press, "Complete list of Grammy Award nominations," USA TODAY, December 8, 2005.
  2. ^ Richard S. Ginell, “‘Ellis Island: The Dream of America’ mixes music and oral histories to tell immigrants’ stories,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Paul Hodgins, “Ellis Island reminds us of our immigrant heritage at a crucial time,” Orange County Register, April 8, 2017.

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