A native of Manitowoc, WI – distinguished composer and pianist Allen Bonde is Professor Emeritus of Music at Mount Holyoke College. A graduate of Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, he has both the Master of Music and (the first) Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has received many awards, honors, and commissions, notably a Festival Casals Scholarship, a Yale Graduate Fellowship, an American Composers Project, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, and was recognized for his outstanding contributions in music with Alumni Achievement Awards from Lawrence University and Catholic University. Additionally, Bonde was the first Composer-in-Residence at the Harmony Ridge Brass Center, a Fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, Composer-in-Residence at Kingston Polytechnic in London, and the first Musician-in-Residence at the Nanyang Technological University National Institute of Education in Singapore. As a contributing delegate, he was commissioned to compose a piece for Pipa, which was premiered by Wong Ching-Ping at the First International Seminar on Chinese Music held in London.
A prolific composer, his works demonstrate great diversity, and have been performed throughout the world by such notables as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic brass principals. Recently, Punsternation, featuring Philip Smith, Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, received its premiere at Symphony Space. Ballad In Blue, recorded by Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, was released on CD by the International Trombone Association on Summit Records.
As pianist, Bonde has performed in many venues, including Carnegie Recital Hall, National Gallery of Art, Pan American Union, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Harvard Musical Association, and Severance Chamber Hall. His performances have been described as “brilliant” (Washington Post) and “solid” (New York Times). A profile of his life can be found in a Readers Digest article titled “A Song of Home,” from the September 1991 issue.