Margaret Bonds

Quick Facts

  • Born in Chicago, Illinois (U.S.)
  • Her mom taught her to play the piano.
  • She wrote her first piece of music at the age of 5.
  • She studied piano and composition at Northwestern University in Illinois. She was one of only a few Black students, and she was not allowed to live on campus.
  • After graduation, she went to New York and studied at Juilliard School of Music.
  • She is known for being a great teacher, composer and performer.
  • She was the first Black performer to play with the Chicago Symphony.
  • She is best known for her arrangements of African American Spirituals and her collaboration with poet Langston Hughes.


  • Margaret Bonds poster (PDF)

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