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NYWC Spotlight: Victoria Bond

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight composer and conductor Victoria Bond.

Victoria Bond

Victoria Bond. Photo courtesy Victoria Bond.

Bio excerpts from Bond’s website:

Victoria Bond leads a multifaceted career as composer, conductor, lecturer, and artistic director of Cutting Edge Concerts. Her compositions have been praised by The New York Times as “powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding;” her conducting has been called “impassioned” by the Wall Street Journal and “full of energy and fervor” by The New York Times.

Ms. Bond has composed eight operas, six ballets, two piano concertos and orchestral, chamber, choral and keyboard compositions. She has been commissioned by numerous orchestras and ensembles. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Anchorage Opera, Irish National Orchestra (RTE), Shanghai Symphony and members of the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony, among others.

She is the principal guest conductor of Chamber Opera, Chicago, a position she has held since 2008. Following her graduation from The Juilliard School, she was selected by Andre Previn for the Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor position with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She has served as assistant conductor of New York City Opera under Beverly Sills, and was music director and conductor of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of Harrisburg Opera, Opera Roanoke, and Bel Canto Opera Company in New York, and artistic advisor of The Wuhan Symphony in China. She has served as principal guest conductor for Ray Charles in concerts throughout the world, including performances and recording of Quincy Jones’ Black Requiem.

In addition to her composing and performing activities, Ms. Bond is also passionate about sharing her knowledge of music. She is a frequent lecturer for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, including a four-part series on Wagner’s Ring offered as an online course, and for the MET’s HD simulcasts at Guild Hall. She regularly gave pre-performance lectures at New York Philharmonic concerts and has taught at The Julliard School, NYU, Nyack College, and at the annual Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina.

Ms. Bond is the recipient of the Victor Herbert Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Walter Hinrichsen Award, the Perry F. Kendig Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Hollins and Roanoke Colleges, and Washington and Lee University, and was voted Woman of the Year, Virginia in 1990 and 1991.

Victoria Bond is the first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the Juilliard School where she also received her Master’s degree. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. Her teachers include Ingolf Dahl and Roger Sessions (composition); William Vennard (voice); Jean Morel, James Conlon, Sixteen Ehrling, Leonard Slatkin, and Herbert Blomstedt (conducting). While a student at Juilliard, Ms. Bond also worked with some of the most eminent names in classical music, including Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Featured Work: “Jasmine Flower” for unaccompanied cello


  • Title: “Jasmine Flower”
  • Composer: Victoria Bond
  • Year of Composition: 2011
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 7′
  • Number of Measures: 131
  • Number of pages: 4
  • Tempo: various tempos
  • Difficulty Level: advanced/professional
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb
  • Techniques Employed: portamento, pizzicato, sul ponticello; frequently changing meter – 2/4, 3/4, 6/4, 3/8, 5/8, 4/4, 7/8, 6/8, 5/4, 12/8, 11/8, 3/16, 4/16, 4/87/16, and 6/16 time signatures; bass and tenor clefs; syncopations; wide range of dynamic from ppp to fff
  • Publisher: Protone Music, Inc. (self-published)
  • Where to Purchase the Score: Theodore Front Music Literature
  • Cost of Score*: $12.60


Program Notes

I am fascinated by contrast.  In music, this takes the form of the contrast between tonal grounding and chromatic tension to escape that grounding.  Without tonality, chromaticism floats freely above a rootless world and has no point of reference. I chose the Chinese folksong Moli Hua because it was so beautiful, pure, and simple in its flowing melody. To use this as a point of reference gave me the perfect foil to counterbalance the desire to break free of the orderly and explore the complex, asymmetrical, chaotic elements that contrast the song

Thus each variation focuses on a tiny fragment of the song – tossing it around, exploding it, and re-arranging the pieces. It returns frequently to the original, to measure the distance traveled and to find refreshing relief in a world of quiet, peaceful repose.

Jasmine Flower is a set of 12 Variations on the well-known Chinese melody ‘Moli Hua.’” – Victoria Bond

Victoria Bond’s Other Work with a Prominent Cello Part

  • Monologue (from Trio: Other Selves) (1979)


A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.