Victoria Bond Piano Concerto – “Black Light”

The Music

I was first introduced to the music of Victoria Bond in 2018 upon my arrival at the University of Nebraska and was immediately drawn to the expressive and powerful nature of her compositional style. When Dr. Paul Barnes gifted me with his American Piano Concertos album featuring Victoria Bond’s first piano concerto, Black Light, I also discovered the beautiful versatility of her work and our common love for jazz. I set out to learn the piece and write about it for my doctoral document, which traced and analyzed cyclicism and Romantic conception throughout the concerto in comparison to two of Bond’s other chant-inspired pieces for piano, Potirion Sotiriu and Simeron Kremate.

The Obstacle

While Black Light was intended to be played with piano and a full orchestra, I did not have orchestral forces at my disposal at the time of performance. Under normal circumstances the orchestra part would be played by a second piano, but I quickly discovered that the only reduction was an unpublished, unfinished manuscript.

The Resolution

Through generous Scholarly Activity Grants from the Hixson Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska, I was able to commission Christian Johnson to transform the uncompleted draft of the second piano reduction in Bond’s manuscript to a fully notated two-piano score. This score will soon be published and available for other interested pianists, allowing Black Light to be a viable option for piano concerto competitions and two-piano chamber music performances everywhere! To view more of Christian’s work, check out his website at

My colleague Florencia Zuloaga and I were able to premiere the two-piano version for my final doctoral recital at the University of Nebraska, but due to restrictions no audience was allowed. We will be performing it again for a live audience at the Nebraska Music Teachers Association Conference in October.