About


Bonnie Lander is an avant-garde soprano, violinist, free improviser, and composer based in the Baltimore and Philadelphia areas. As a performer and composer Bonnie specializes in works that combine free improvisation with structured composition. In the past few years she has developed a series of theatrical works called "Inside Voices." These works intend for the audience to experience the voices, noises, and emotional narratives in the performer's mind through the operatic use of timbre, resonance, articulation as well as extended vocal techniques relating to everyday use of the voice. This combination provides a musical exploration of personal experience mixed with confrontational, visceral human expression.

Bonnie completed her master's degree in opera performance and computer music at the Peabody Institute. At Peabody Bonnie worked with renowned soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson on 20th/21st century repertoire such as Georges Aperghis, John Cage, Cathy Berberian, Milton Babbitt, and Gy├Ârgy Ligeti, leading to a series of performances of Ligeti's Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures with conductor/pianist Leon Fleisher at the 92nd St Y (NYC), The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), and the Library of Congress (Washington, DC). She is currently pursuing a doctorate at UC San Diego where she has had the opportunity to perform with Red Fish Blue Fish and the Ban On A Can All Stars at the Walt Disney Hall (Los Angeles) and the Moore Theater (Seattle). At UCSD Bonnie has collaborated extensively with jazz pianist and opera composer Anthony Davis, premiering the role of "Nora's Mind," a role which mixes improvisatory, electronic, and composed elements for the world premier of his opera Lear On The Second Floor. Bonnie's vocals were also heard at the 2016 premier of Davis' opera Five. 

Bonnie has performed across the United States and Europe at Omaha Under the Radar, Des Moines Under the Radar, Make Music NY, and the Internationales Musikinstitute Darmstadt. She has collaborated with improvisers and composers Judith Hamann, Paul Pinto, Wojtek Blecharz, Clinton McCallum, David Smooke, Ruby Fulton, John Dierker, Shodekeh, and Mike Formanek. As co-founder of "Rhymes With Opera" (founded in 2008) Bonnie has been partially responsible for commissioning and premiering many new works for chamber opera. She also serves as the Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego New Music, working with San Diego Refugee Tutoring on a music outreach program for refugee elementary students in City Heights. Please check out San Diego New Music for more info about the program and how to help out!