Black history month day 17: Composer Margaret Bonds
Margaret Bonds was born in Chicago in 1913 and grew up in a home visited by many of the leading black intellectuals of the era, including soprano Abbie Mitchell and composers Florence Price and Will Marion Cook. She composed her first work, Marquette Street Blues, at the age of five.
Her mother gave her piano lessons and she studied composition with Florence Price and William Dawson while in school. Upon graduating high school she became one of the few black students at Northwestern University, and graduated in two years with a bachelors and Masters degree in music. She played piano with various organizations including the Chicago Symphony orchestra before eventually moving to New York City.
In New York she met figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including poet Langston Hughes with whom she became very good friends. She set many of his poems to music. Once she sought the tutelage of famed French compositional teacher Nadia Boulanger, showing her the work she did setting Hughes’ poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. Boulanger refused to teach Bonds after seeing this work, stating that she had nothing else to learn.
found @ 31 likes ON 2018-05-26 01:38:14 BY ME.ME