Susan Botti (b. 13 April 1962, Wichita Falls, Tex.) is an American composer and singer.
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 in Boston; and her master’s in music composition from the Manhattan School of Music.
As both a composer and a singer, Susan Botti's eclectic background and experiences are reflected in her music. Whether in an orchestral or chamber setting, theatrical influences play a vital part in her musical expression.
Susan Botti was the 3rd Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2003-2004, the orchestra premiered her work Impetuosity(conducted by Roberto Abbado), and a new work, Translucence, was commissioned by the orchestra and premiered in the 2004-2005 season, conducted by music director, Franz Welser.
In February 2005, she premiered Cosmosis (for wind ensemble, soprano soloist and women's voices) at Carnegie Hall (settings of poetry by May Swenson). This work was commissioned by a consortium of universities led by the University of Michigan and conductor Michael Haithcock, who led the premiere with Botti as soloist.
As a singer, Botti specializes in the performance of contemporary music by composers of diverse styles, including: Gubaidulina, Crumb, Kurtag, Cage, Chihara, Pintscher, and Partch, among others. Composer/conductor Tan Dun created several major works which highlight her vocal and theatrical talents. She premiered his Red Forecast for soprano and orchestra with the BBC Scottish Symphony and performed that work's U.S. premiere at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. Tan Dun also wrote the role of "Water" for her in his internationally renowned opera, Marco Polo (Sony Classical) which she premiered at the Muenchener Biennale, and subsequently performed in Europe and Asia, and at the New York City Opera. She can also be heard in Tan Dun's soundtrack of The Banquet.
She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and grants from Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund, The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The NY Foundation for the Arts, The Greenwall Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. Most recently, Botti was awarded a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2005 Frederic A. Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Music Composition. During the 2005-2006 season she was in residence at the American Academy in Rome.
A member of the composition faculty at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor from 2000 to 2006, she currently serves on the composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Music Center.
Works for Winds
- Nicholson, Chad. "Terra Cruda." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 1061-1069. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
- Schroeder, Angela. (2007) Susan Botti's Cosmosis: A Conductor's Analysis with Performance Considerations [Doctoral Dissertation].
- Susan Botti website