BONNIE WHITING SMITH – Percussionist, red fish blue fish, Visiting Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Akaska Fairbanks

Bonnie Whiting Smith performs and commissions new music for speaking percussionist. In addition to solo projects, she works regularly with percussion group red fish blue fish. In 2011, she joined the ensemble in premiering the staged version of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny directed by Peter Sellars and featuring Dawn Upshaw for Ojai Festival. Other notable group projects include collaborating with eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory), the International Contemporary Ensemble (American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), and Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series.) She is looking forward to being a part of the John Cage Centennial Festival at the Nationally Gallery in DC in 2012. Bonnie collaborates regularly with percussionist Allen Otte; they have presented concerts at The Stone in New York, throughout New Zealand, and at colleges and universities around the country. Her debut album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s 45’ for a speaker and 27’10.554” for a percussionist, will be released by Mode Records in 2013.

A dedicated arts educator, Bonnie spent three years with Tales & Scales, a quartet combining new music, dance, and theater for family audiences, giving over 400 performances in 25 states and appearing with the Dallas, Oregon, Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Louisville orchestras. She also helped to develop several experimental music programs in Southern California: The Children’s Universal Language Orchestra in Spring Valley as well as residencies at the Monarch School (for children affected by homelessness) and the inner-city Lincoln High School in San Diego.

She was a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland under the direction of Pierre Boulez, and has performed throughout Europe as well as Canada and Panama. Bonnie has worked closely with composers Jerome Kitzke, Randall Woolf, John Luther Adams, Michael Pisaro, Frederic Rzewski, and Steve Reich, and she champions the music of her peers. Bonnie attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory (BM), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and University of California San Diego (DMA.) She has been recently appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Bonnie Whiting Smith in performance of James Dillon's Nine Rivers, Miller Theatre at Columbia
University, 2011. Photo image redit: