Listen: "Lampshades", from Contrapictions for flute, violin, cello
Bonnie McAlvin is a New York City-based composer and flutist. Much of her music uses the special technique of multiphonics—a technique somewhat akin to the playing of double-stops on a string instrument: the flutist plays two or more notes simultaneously, creating the potential for weaving harmony and voice-leading as a soloist. Bonnie’s 2015 release of Parallel Transformations drew international attention for its unique usage of multiphonics, and her subsequent music explores the boundaries—and moves the stubborn limits—of this difficult technique. Bonnie is cited for her work in this field in the recently-published second edition of Dictionary for the Modern Flutist, and she has toured internationally, presenting concerts and workshops on the technique, for such institutions as the National Flute Association, The Web Flute Academy, the University of Aveiro, Texas State University, McGill University, and Adelphi University, among others.
As a traditional technique flutist, Bonnie won the National Flute Association’s convention performer competition of 2011. She has been invited several times to appear as soloist at the National Flute Association’s annual meeting, and will perform again this summer at their meeting in Dallas. She performs in Merkin and Carnegie Halls as principal flutist of the Ureuk Symphony.
As a composer, Bonnie’s work has naturally centered on flute music, but her commissions have also extended to orchestral, piano, and chamber music. Her film score My First Kiss and the People Involved screened in five American cities, and was recently picked up for distribution. When it premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, it was the top pick of the festival for CriterionCast and the LA Daily News, and the musical score received a critical grade of “Excellent” from The Hollywood Reporter. Another successful commission was Sandstone Peak, a work which premiered on the provocative pairings series of the Delaware-based chamber ensemble Melomanie. The work was recorded in January under the expert ears of four-time Grammy winning engineer Andreas Meyer, and will be included on the group’s third commercial album, Ultraviolet. In recent months, Bonnie’s music has been performed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Hamptions, world ragtime piano champion William McNally, international piccolo superstar Christine Erlander Beard and pianist Tim “Philharmonic” Carey, in places as diverse as New York City, Chicago, Texas, Delaware, Brazil, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Portugal.