Bonnie Lander, B.M. '04

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Bonnie Lander is a multifaceted professional musician whose career encompasses performance, curation, composition, and improvisation, complimented by a strong teaching and community work portfolio. Immersed in the eclectic world of new and experimental music Bonnie has performed in a great variety of concert programs, with a wide selection of collaborators in improvised music, new opera, new chamber music, and composition. Versatile, dramatic, with a "signature ability to embody a seemingly endless supply of vocal timbres and personalities," Bonnie combines an intuitive, spontaneous use of the voice with resonant operatic technique, in order to create a performance experience that is virtuosic, intimate, and sonically overpowering. She has worked closely with many collaborative musicians and artists including Anthony Davis, Judith Hamann, Wojtek Blecharz, Clint McCallum, Paul Pinto, Kayleigh Butcher, and Ruby Fulton.

Themes in Lander's composed works involve abstracted representation of repression and anxiety, highlighting the conflict between internal, abstracted mental processes and the struggle to externalize them through the persona of the voice. Bonnie draws inspiration from a variety of works utilizing feminine madness, such as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Amy Beth Kirsten's Ophelia Forever, or Ligeti's Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures. She has created a series of works called "Inside Voices" dedicated to drawing attention the inner experience of the performer as separate from their outer experience through electronics, staging, lighting, and dramatic narrative. Bonnie's compositions rely primarily on various forms of structured improvisation including graphic scores, text pieces, and collaborative works inspired by improvisatory practice.

Most recently Bonnie completed a collaborative music residency at Art Omi in Ghent, NY,  toured the US alongside thing NY members Paul Pinto and Jeff Young performing solo works by Giacinto Scelsi and György Kurtág, and toured Australia at leading improvisation festivals The Now Now, Sound Out, and Melbourne's The Make It Up Club series. Last year, Bonnie completed a year-long post as guest curator of the Experimental Music Series at Community Arts Phoenixville in coordination with her Artist In Residence post at Camphill Soltane.

Bonnie graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Contemporary Vocal Performance at UC San Diego and studied at the Peabody Institute with Phyllis Bryn-Julson for her Masters of Music degree.  She is the co-founder of NYC chamber ensemble Rhymes with Opera, now in its 11th year of programming and serves on the board of directors, as well as a performer and composer. Rhymes with Opera commissioned her improvised opera Coping Mechanisms for their 2017 main stage performance. She was the Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego New Music for two years, leading the refugee Music Mondays Outreach program in coordination with San Diego Refugee Tutoring, a wonderful organization devoted to helping displaced children and their families from across the globe adjust to life and education in City Heights, San Diego. Further, Bonnie has offered workshops at various festivals involving graphics score creation and performance for children and adults, as well as led groups in original sonic meditations involving the voice.