Sound Investment Previous ComposersThe 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 2014-2015 season, featuring composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone.

Why support new music?
Sound Investment Membership
Meet 2014-2015 Sound Investment composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone
Join us for the 2014-2015 Sound Investment World Premiere

Why Support New Music?

A contemporary work that makes innovative use of sound or rhythm can stretch our imaginations and give us a new way of viewing the world. When newer works are performed side-by-side with established classics, connections emerge that help us experience old favorites in a deeper, richer way.   

But more importantly, music being written now is shaped by the world we live in and can speak to us in particularly relevant ways. New music is dynamic; it not only exists with us, it interacts with us. 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. A live performance of a Bach cantata or Beethoven symphony gives us the joy of connecting to timeless artistic achievement, but contemporary works are linked to us and our world in a way that those masterpieces can never be.

A new crop of talented young composers is exploring musical expression beyond the traditional boundaries. These composers incorporate inspiration from exotic sources and sounds in their work. They study composition at top universities and conservatories and then launch indie rock bands to express themselves in today’s vernacular. They love and respect classical music, even as they stretch its traditions and test its formulas. In sum, the vitality and fresh voice they bring to the orchestral community is invaluable… and exciting.

Sound Investment Membership

With your $500 Sound Investment membership, you will have the opportunity to:

Encounter the Composer: Meet Ellis Ludwig-Leone
January 21, 2015, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Engage in the Creative Process: Commission Update from Ellis
February 2015, Date and time TBA

Experience the Work-in-Progress: Attend A Rehearsal
March 5, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – noon

Enjoy the World Premier of Commissioned Work
Thursday, March 6, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Attend an Encore Event: Reading Session of New Works
Featuring 2013-2014 Sound Investment Composer Hannah Lash
May 6, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

You will also receive:

• Two tickets to the world premiere of the piece you helped commission
• A signed copy of the score with your name listed as a co-commissioner

To join, please contact Katy Smith, Assistant Director of Development, at or 205-314-6912.

Ellis Ludwig LeoneMeet Sound Investment Composer Ellis Ludwig Leone

Ellis Ludwig-Leone is a 24 year-old composer and songwriter active in New York City. He is the songwriter and bandleader for Brooklyn-based band San Fermin, whose self-titled debut LP was released by Downtown Records in September 2013.

Ellis has written for a wide variety of ensembles and soloists including ACME, Decoda, JACK Quartet, Fifth House Ensemble, and Lavinia Meijer. Recent projects include The Impulse Wants Company, a ballet with choreographer Troy Schumacher and poet Cynthia Zarin, premiered by BalletCollective and ACME at the Joyce Theatre’s Ballet v6.0 festival in August 2013. He is a recipient of residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Við Djúpið music festival in Iceland.

Since graduating from Yale University in 2011, Ellis has worked as a musical assistant to Nico Muhly, assisting with operas, feature films, ballets, and orchestral works. As an undergraduate, Ellis was a co-founder and composer-in-residence for the contemporary chamber ensemble SIC InC. Upon graduation, Ellis was awarded the Beekman Cannon Friends of Music Prize for the graduating senior whose composition “exhibits unusual originality or promise.”

Born in Rhode Island and raised in rural Massachusetts, he currently lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Visit his website:
Hear performances of Ellis’ music:
Learn about his band:
Read San Fermin's eponymous album review:

Join us for the 2015-2015 Sound Investment World Premiere

Join us for The Wells Fargo Classical EDGE: San Fermin & Ellis Ludwig-Leone.

The first half of the concert will feature the world premiere of the Sound Investment-commissioned piece along with other orchestral works curated by Ellis. The second half will be a set by Ellis’ indie rock band, San Fermin.

Sound Investment members receive two tickets to the concert with their membership.

Special thanks to Brooke and Daniel Coleman for sponsoring this concert.

San Fermin & Ellis Ludwig-Leone
March 6, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.
Alys Stephens Center | Jemison Concert Hall | Map & Directions

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