Faculty Bio

Susan Botti

Adjunct Associate Professor in Music

As composer and performer, Susan Botti's eclectic background and experiences are reflected in her music. Theatre 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 and singing styles.

Botti is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize; 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. She was the third Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra, premiering her works Impetuosity (conducted by Roberto Abbado), and Translucence (conducted by music director, Franz Welser- Möst).

Botti's EchoTempo (for Soprano, Percussion & Orchestra) was commissioned and premiered by Maestro Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic (with Botti and Christopher Lamb as soloists). A commission from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for solo violin and chamber orchestra, Within Darkness, was premiered at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, with Martha Caplin as violin soloist. A recent chamber music project, Gates of Silence, was a 3-part commission from the Blakemore Trio (Vanderbilt University) - works for violin & piano; piano trio; and piano trio plus soprano (Botti). Gates of Silence was premiered in Nashville, and at Merkin Hall in NYC.

Botti's works for wind ensemble have met with acclaim - including Cosmosis (for wind ensemble, soprano soloist, and women's voices), which was commissioned by a consortium of universities, and premiered at Carnegie Hall, with conductor Michael Haithcock leading the University of Michigan wind ensemble and chorus, with the composer as soloist. Another consortium of university bands (NWECG) commissioned a new work for wind ensemble from Botti, Terra Cruda, which premiered in the 2011-2012 season. Also recently premiered is Cristalli for solo piano. Commissioned by Alice Weston for her Crystal Clues to the Sublime, (a multimedia presentation with animated photography) it was premiered at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Museum, with a live piano performance by Phillip Bush.

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. Her vocal teachers included Hilda Harris, Drew Minter, Myron McPherson, and Nancy Armstrong. Botti was an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (from 2000-2006). She is currently a member of the Composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC (from 2006), and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Vassar College.