Anthony J. Palmer holds a bachelor's degree in vocal/choral music, and a master's degree in composition from California State University, Los Angeles. His Ph.D. degree is from the University of California at Los Angeles in the fields of Music Education and Ethnomusicology. He studied harmony with Leonard Stein, composition with Hugh Mullins, and orchestration with Boris Kremenliev. He received two commissions from the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California, to compose works combining Western and Japanese instruments, as a feature of the Japan: Day by Day exhibition. Subsequently, he received a Creative Artist Fellowship in 1983 to study in Japan, sponsored by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. There he worked with Kanehiko Togi of the Imperial Court Music Bureau.
Dr. Palmer was Professor of Music at the University of Hawaii at Mânoa. Retiring in 1998, he moved to Massachusetts a year later because of the numerous music activities in the Greater Boston area. He has taught at several universities and colleges, high schools and elementary schools, participated in workshops and conducted choirs and orchestras. He has authored and published some sixty scholarly articles for both journals and anthologies and has been a clinician at various professional workshops and conferences. He led the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra, Waltham, Massachusetts for two years from 1999 to 2001, and continues to compose works for chorus and orchestra. Dr. Palmer was engaged full-time as Professor in the School of Music at Boston University for the 2000-2001 academic year. Subsequently, he was on a part-time basis until he retired in May 2009.
Dr. Palmer composed in his spare time through a long teaching career that demanded a major portion of his energies. Now retired, he is devoting his full time to composing and writing. Even so, his compositions number over 50, 10 of which are in excess of 10 minutes duration. Of the ten, five are of 20 minutes or longer duration.