Sound Investment

Commission a work ... Connect with the composer.

The ASO’s Sound Investment program gives members a unique opportunity not only to help commission a new work but to see how new compositions come together. Membership in Sound Investment provides a window into the complex workings of creative minds, from inspiration to finished product; an opportunity to form relationships with some of the most interesting composers working today; and a chance to experience the place where art intersects modern life in the creation of a new musical work. 

Sound Investment is the most interesting and meaningful music experience we’ve had in Birmingham. We encourage anyone interested in music and how it comes into being to be a part of Sound Investment.
–Ellen and Fred Elsas

We invite you to learn more about Sound Investment and hope you will join us for the 2016-2017 season, featuring composer Susan Botti.

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Why Support New Music?

Sound Investment Previous ComposersMusic being written now is shaped by the world we live in. Modern-day composers use the same technology, experience the same world events, and are exposed to the same social issues, political arguments, and cultural ideas as we are. All of these things are bound up in the creation of new music. While a live performance of a Bach cantata or Beethoven symphony allows us to experience timeless artistic achievement, contemporary works are linked to us and our world in a way older masterpieces cannot be.

The ASO has won multiple awards for its frequent performances of contemporary music, and since 2009 members of Sound Investment have helped create new works for premiere by the ASO. With these commissions, we focus not only on the work created but on developing a relationship between the composer and our community. Through multiple visits to Birmingham, composers engage with both children and adults, teaching, inspiring, and making their music accessible.  

To have the opportunity to help the ASO commission a new piece of music - and to have our name on the score! - seemed incredible to us. The patrons who commissioned the great classics were usually royalty or fabulously wealthy. But here, at a very reasonable cost, we are able to contribute to the creation of new works, meet the composers, and be present the first time the works are performed. – Jim and Joyce Cauthen

Sound Investment Membership

$500 per person/$1,000 per couple

With your Sound Investment membership, you will experience events such as:

• Co-commission Susan's new work, Glaze, which premiered at the ASO Masterworks concert on February 3 & 4, 2017;

• Intimately get to know Susan at three exclusive events. Go "behind-the-scenes" to learn the creative process;

• Attend a rehearsal of the commissioned piece;

• Receive two Masterworks concert tickets to the world premiere;

• Receive a copy of the score, signed by Susan Botti, with your name listed as a commissioner.

You also go behind-the-scenes of Botti's creative process, getting to know her and discussing her work, Glaze at a series of special events

Join Sound Investment today! To take advantage of this unique experience, please contact Cheryle Caplinger at or 205-314-6903.

Susan BottiMeet Sound Investment Composer Susan Botti

As composer and performer, Susan Botti's eclectic background and experiences are reflected in her music. She has been commissioned and performed around the globe with ensembles like the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony, among others. Her one-woman chamber opera Telaio: Desdemona will be a highlight of the ASO’s 2016-17 Concertmaster & Friends series, and the work has been performed nationally to rapturous acclaim. In addition to performing her own vocal works, Botti specializes in the performance of contemporary music by composers of diverse styles. She has worked with great composers from Tan Dun to Esa-Pekka Salonen and HK Gruber, and at celebrated venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

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 and singing styles. 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. She is a member of the Composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Vassar College.

For more information on Susan Botti, please visit her website at

Sound Investment Salon I