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Percussionist Simon Boyar, Breaking New Ground

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Percussionist Simon Boyar, Breaking New Ground

Music

Percussionist Simon Boyar, Breaking New Ground

Percussionist Simon Boyar, Breaking New Ground

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Boyar on the marimba:

Etude in Ab Major by Clair Omar, arranged by Simon Boyar

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More Musicians at Work:

Boyar plays an 8 foot marimba. Chianan Yen hide caption

toggle caption Chianan Yen

Percussionist Simon Boyar plays the marimba and 30 other instruments in a new work. Chianan Yen hide caption

toggle caption Chianan Yen

At Lincoln Center:

Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Joseph Schwantner, conducted by George Manahan with The Juilliard Orchestra

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Simon Boyar, music professor at New York University, doesn't see himself as a classical musician.

He grew up as a rock drummer and has been hooked on percussion instruments ever since — especially the marimba.

And though he frequently tours with orchestras as a soloist, Boyar is also a member of a hip-hop band.

His latest project dabbles in classical music, but not in the traditional sense of the genre. Boyar calls it a groundbreaking new work, "Double Concerto for Violin and Percussion" by Harold Farberman, a former percussionist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In the piece, Boyar plays at three different percussion stations, dashing between them to play as many as 30 instruments — drums cymbals, wood chimes, gongs and maracas, to name just a few.

He performs the piece at New York's Lincoln Center with world-class violinist Guillermo Figueroa and The American Symphony, conducted by Leon Botstein.

As part of the series "Musicians at Work," Boyar had a jam session with Debbie Elliott at New York University's percussion studio, where they talked about how he manages so many instruments at once.

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