Through her efforts as an administrator, fundraiser, presenter and educator with organizations and institutions such as Composers’ Forum, Inc. (1984 – present), the Alternative Museum (1987 – 1993), Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative (1987 – 1991), MusicVistas, Inc. (1988 – present), The New School University (1994 – 1998), The Kitchen (1995 – 1998), Women Make Movies (1998 – 1999), CUNY – Brooklyn (1999 – present), Engine 27 (1999 – 2001) and Electronic Music Foundation (1999 – present), Bernadette continues to bring the work of a broad range of contemporary artists to audiences in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. Throughout these years and to the present time, Bernadette has followed three career paths: composer/performer, presenter/arts administrator and teacher/lecturer/educational consultant.
Her work as a composer embraces a variety of styles, and includes solo, chamber and orchestral works. In recent years PARALLEL WINDOWS – UNFRAMED for piano and orchestra was performed by Anthony de Mare and the Absolute Chamber Orchestra, and WITHIN for piano and orchestra was performed by Ursula Oppens and the Brooklyn Philharmonic under the direction of Lukas Foss. Her second string quartet, LES ONDES POUR QUATRE, was premiered by the Arditti String Quartet in Darmstadt, Germany (where Ms. Speach lectured as a part of the composition faculty) and at the Ravinia Festival, where it received its American premiere.
Her works have been played by numerous performers including: pianists Anthony de Mare, Yvar Mikhashoff, Kathleen Supove and Nurit Tilles; vocalists Joan La Barbara, Cheryl Marshall and Thomas Buckner; percussionists Robert Previte, Robert Schulz and Jan Williams; cellist Frances-Marie Uitti; The Arditti String Quartet and Soldier String Quartet, Maelstrom Percussion Quartet, The Omni Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Quartet, Leroy Jenkins’ Sting, The Contemporary Ensemble of the University of Nottingham in England, The Abel/ Steinberg/Winant Trio, Fidelio, Zeitgeist and Auros Group for New Music.
Bernadette was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composers Fellowship in 1992. In the same year she received a commission through the American Composers Forum with funding by The Jerome Foundation to compose for the ensemble Zeitgeist, as well as commissioning funds from The New York State Council on the Arts through MusicVistas to continue her collaboration with Thulani Davis. Bernadette was a Music Composition Fellow through the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship program in 1998 – 1999.