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Susan Botti's Cosmosis: A Conductor's Analysis with Performance Considerations

Description: In 2005, composer Susan Botti won the coveted Prix de Rome in musical composition and spent eleven months in residency at the American Academy in Rome. That same year, the University of Michigan Wind Symphony, under the direction of Michael Haithcock, premiered her exciting new work Cosmosis at the College Band Directors National Association Conference in New York City. The bi-annual conference is a venue for the premiere of new works for wind ensembles and bands, and the 2005 conference saw the world premiere of nine works for winds and percussion, many of which were performed in the legendary Carnegie Hall. What made the debut performance of Cosmosis exciting and notable was the composer's own appearance as soprano soloist, and the inclusion of a chorus of women augmenting the ensemble of winds and percussion. Such a combination of elements is unique, and created a fresh and powerful sonority. Botti's inventive approach to composition has expanded the repertoire for both women's chorus and wind ensemble with this distinctive work. This study is intended to serve as a guide to the study and performance of Cosmosis. The information provides a detailed examination of the work from its conception to its premiere performance. The work is based on the poetry of American poetess May Swenson, and Botti's interpretation of the poetry in music unveils interesting parallels between these artistic disciplines. The research provides a contextual framework from which the conductor may begin study of the work, and which may lead to an informed performance of the work.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Schroeder, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries