Margaret Bonds

March 03, 1913 – April 26, 1972

Modern Period

Born in United States

Margaret Bonds was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a doctor and her mother was an organist and Margaret’s first music teacher. She was 5 years old when she wrote her first music composition. In high school she studied with Florence Price and William Levi Dawson. Bonds was one of the first African American composers and performers to gain recognition in the United States and is remembered for her popular arrangements of spirituals, as well as her collaboration with Langston Hughes. She also wrote solo songs, classical instrumental works, and film music. She was the first African American soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Florence Price’s Concerto in F Major for piano and orchestra (the first orchestral work by an African American woman the orchestra had ever performed.)