Assistant Professor of Music
Primary Academic Program: Music
Biography:Alexander Bonus is the Assistant Professor of Music at Bard College, where he founded and directs the Bard Baroque Ensemble. His role at the college also extends to the teaching of music history, theory, and performance practice courses.
Dr. Bonus holds a PhD in Musicology from Case Western Reserve University as well as MM and BM degrees from the Eastman School of Music. In 2011, the American Council of Learned Societies awarded Dr. Bonus a competitive New Faculty Fellowship. He previously taught at Duke University and directed Duke’s vocal and instrumental Collegium Musicum.
Dr. Bonus’s scholarship appears in Current Musicology, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, as well as the new edition of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. He is author of the “Metronome” handbook for Oxford Handbooks Online and is a significant contributor to the forthcoming Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music. His chapter “Refashioning Rhythm: Hearing, Acting, and Reacting to Metronomic Sound in the Experimental Sciences” appears in the sound-studies volume, Cultural Histories of Noise, Sound and Listening in Europe, 1300-1918 (Routledge, 2017). Alexander regularly presents lectures about musical time and performance practices at academic conferences across Europe and America. In September 2016, he lectured at the “Making Time in Music” international conference held at the University of Oxford.
As an active continuo keyboardist and historic brass player, Alexander has performed with ensembles including the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra; Tafelmusik; the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Chicago Opera Theater; Folger Consort; Tragicomedia; Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; San Francisco Bach Chorale; Musica Angelica; Apollo’s Fire; and the Newberry Consort. Alexander is heard on the Boston Early Music Festival’s Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché. Dr. Bonus regularly appears as continuo player with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, The Orchestra Now (TON), Bard’s Opera Workshop, and the Bard Festival Chorale. In 2016, Dr. Bonus prepared TON and soloists from the Vocal Arts Program for performances of Handel’s Messiah at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.