Classical violist-composer Scott Slapin is a featured soloist and chamber musician on dozens of recordings and the first person to have recorded the complete cycle of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas on viola. He can be heard playing solo Bach, Paganini Caprices and his own compositions on various soundtracks for film and TV, and with his wife, violist Tanya Solomon, he has been concertizing as the award-winning Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo for more than twenty years. Their duo recordings have garnered praise in Strad, the New York Violist, the All Music Guide, and the Journals of the American and Canadian Viola Societies, and Scott's solo playing has received critical acclaim in the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Strad, and Musical Opinion, among others.
Scott's more than sixty violacentric recital compositions have been performed by hundreds of musicians in concert halls throughout the world and can be heard on nine albums recorded by the Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo, the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble, and the American Viola Quartet. Scott has been commissioned by the Primrose International Viola Competition and the American Viola Society (AVS); he was a 2020 AVS artist in residence, and he is the soloist for the first album produced by the AVS, "Premieres". Scott served as committee member, judge, and performer for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition and is a former fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California.
Scott was born into a family of string players in 1974. At eighteen, he was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music and performing daily as the solo violist for the New York City (1992-1993 Circle Repertory Theater) production of Gerald Busby's Orpheus In Love, a chamber opera about a viola-playing Orpheus. He premiered Busby's Muse for Solo Viola in Carnegie's Weill Hall, gave countless recitals, and wrote for and soloed with orchestras. He gained orchestral experience playing in the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras (where he was principal viola), the Louisville Orchestra, the New Orleans-based Louisiana Philharmonic, and Brazil's São Paulo Symphony, sharing a stand in the last three with Tanya. Having met on a tour of the West with the Philadelphia Virtuosi in 1999, Scott and Tanya soon began performing as a viola duo, recording for Eroica Classical Recordings, ISG, and the American Viola Society, and developing the repertoire for two violas through commissions, arrangements, and Scott's own original compositions.
As displaced residents of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Scott and Tanya participated in benefit concerts nationwide including duo recitals, a performance of Bach's Sixth Brandenburg, and a gala with the New York Philharmonic. During the COVID pandemic of 2020, Scott revived his recital series "Greatest Hits from the Twenties" and transformed it into an online educational presentation, through which he presents the 500-year history of the viola and demonstrates excerpts from Bach's Sonatas, Partitas, and Suites (1720); Paganini's Caprices (1820); Hindemith's Solo Viola Sonatas (mostly 1920s); and some of his own more recent solo compositions (2020).
In addition to experience teaching at academies and colleges, Scott and Tanya have taught viola/violin privately for decades, reaching students on five continents via Skype. Scott also teaches composition. For information on taking private lessons with Scott or Tanya, please click here. Please also visit the Slapin-Solomon Duo's YouTube channel. Scott and Tanya live in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
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