Bonita Boyd, Leonard Bernstein and an Israeli Flutist

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Bonita Boyd (Photo by Kate Lemmon)

Flutist Bonita Boyd is the latest artist to be spotlighted in our series of interviews with several of the remarkable talents contributing to the Milken Archive’s first 30 years. A musician of stellar accomplishments, Ms. Boyd was honored by the National Flute Association in 2012 with a Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Eastman School of Music.

How did you get involved with the Milken Archive and did your experience have an impact or influence in your career?

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Bonita Boyd (left) began her professional career at the age of 21,
making history as the youngest principal flutist in a major U.S. orchestra at the time. (Source)

[I got involved] through an extensive recording project under the direction of American composer Samuel Adler [and a member of the Milken Archive’s Editorial Board].

I am so thrilled to have been able to record and to perform many wonderful compositions by Jewish composers over these last 30 years since recording a number of works for the Milken Family Foundation. One of my favorite works of great meaning is the Bernstein Ḥalil, which was the first recording done in the chamber version. I have performed it many times in many venues. In addition, I have been so blessed to be included in an annual concert at the Eastman School of Music, organized by concert violinist Renee Jolles to bring to the public works of composers from the Holocaust. This has been a rich and meaningful experience each May on Holocaust Remembrance Day. I am committed to continuing to bring works of Jewish composers to the public, particularly in this recent time, when it is more important than ever to remember.

What stands out when you reflect on your experience recording for the Milken Archive? 

The delight of recording Leonard Bernstein's Ḥalil with wonderful colleagues and Samuel Adler officiating!

From Leonard Bernstein: A Jewish Legacy

Learn More:
Leonard Bernstein's Ḥalil View Album

How do you think the Milken Archive has impacted the field of Jewish music in general? If you work outside of Jewish music, do you think it has had an impact on the music world more generally?

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Bonita Boyd (middle) with students of her International Flute Masterclass at the Eastman School of Music, 2016.

I believe that the Milken Archive is of vital importance in allowing the great body of music by Jewish composers to be heard by audiences today.

Listen on Spotify:

Milken Archive Presents: Bonita Boyd

Explore Further:

Bonita Boyd's Artist Profile


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