Bonnie McLarty

Marion Terwilliger Webster Fellow


As a child, I tended to get in trouble for not practicing enough when my “practicing” included too much time spent making things up instead of working on my assigned pieces.  I realize now that I was a composer before I knew it was even possible to be one.  In high school, I learned 1) I should always play more quietly and 2) women shouldn’t be conductors — They lack the necessary authority and presence.  These and other “lessons” from college about the “reasons” women don’t make good composers are not things I ever rationally bought into, but they had an impact.  Today, my style reflects the sum of my musical influences along with a good dose of the idiosyncrasies in my personality.  I think it may be my way of trying to find peace in the political events of the last year.”

— Bonnie McLarty


Bonnie McLarty (b. 1983) is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, studying composition with Forrest Pierce and Ingrid Stölzel. She received her MM in Piano Performance at the University of Wyoming, where she studied composition with Anne Guzzo and piano with Theresa Bogard.  Her work as a collaborative pianist and teacher shapes her compositions, which feature lyrical expression and dialog between performers.   Notable influences include classical "greats" such as Copland, Shostakovich, and Debussy, folk music from here in America and around the world, and the innovative blending of styles by composer-performers Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile.