Susan Botti

College Faculty:
Composition Course Faculty: Composition for Non-Majors, Composing for the Voice

As composer and performer, Susan Botti’s eclectic background and experiences are reflected in her music. Theater and the visual arts play a formative role in the aesthetic of her work. Her musical explorations have encompassed traditional, improvisational and non-classical composition andsinging styles.

Botti is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize; grants and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fromm Foundation, NY Foundation for the Arts, the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. She was the third Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. In many cases, she is the vocal soloist as well as composer of her works. Collaboration is of special interest – often, her projects evolve from artistic partnerships (including musicians from the NY Philharmonic and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; soloists such as soprano, Lucy Shelton; the poet Linda Gregerson; and theater designer, Leslie Taylor).

In addition to performing her own vocal works, Botti specializes in the performance of contemporary music of diverse styles. She has worked directly with composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Matthias Pintscher, Paul Chihara, Toshio Hosokawa, Linda Dusman, Eliot Britton, Rahilia Hasanova, Lois V. Vierk, and Wes York. For over a decade, composer/conductor Tan Dun created several major works highlighting her vocal and theatrical talents, including: the role of “Water” in his internationally renowned opera, Marco Polo (Sony Classical), which she premiered at the Münchener Biennale, and subsequently performed in Europe and Asia, and at the New York City Opera.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Botti’s early training included studies in music, art, and theater. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Berklee School of Music; and her Masters in Music Composition from the Manhattan School of Music. Botti was an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (from 2000-2006). She has been a member of the Composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC since 2006, and is also currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Vassar College.



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