The Minnesota Orchestra Has Recorded an Orchestral Masterpiece by Margaret Bonds

This past weekend, one of America’s great orchestras, the Minnesota Orchestra, made the first professional recording of Margaret Bonds’s (1913–72) The Montgomery Variations. The recording, which should be available, OPEN ACCESS, online within a few weeks, is a milestone in the recovery of the ever-ingenious composer’s masterpieces that had little…

With a Playlist

Before 1934, Margaret Bonds publicly performed only all-White recitals. After 1934, she never did that again. Why the change?

In the Summer of 2019 I made my first (ten years’ belated) trip to the Deering Library at Northwestern University to examine that library’s archival holdings pertaining to…

A Song Lyric by Margaret Bonds

Margaret Bonds traveled nearly constantly in her adult life. Even though she maintained a single address in New York from 1940 until her move to Los Angeles in 1967, she toured constantly as a pianist and public speaker, often performing her own compositions as soloist, duo-pianist, and collaborative pianist, in…

MARGARET BONDS, EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY, AND LANGSTON HUGHES*

  • (WITH A CAMEO BY DEBUSSY AND PIERRE LOUŸS)

The long, close, and miraculously productive collaborative friendship between Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes is well known. Late in life Bonds recalled how Hughes’s seminal poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers had “helped save [her]” during her difficult years as a student…

John Michael Cooper

A musicologist with a passion for social justice, bringing unheard music to life for performers and listeners, and teaching.

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