Scott Slapin's compositions have been performed by hundreds of musicians in concert halls throughout the Americas and Europe as well as at international competitions/workshops including the ARD, Primrose, and Tertis. Seven albums of his original chamber music have been recorded by the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble and the Slapin-Solomon Duo with family and friends. His compositions take in (click on links for playlists at YouTube) solo viola works, viola duos, various chamber works, string quartets, various works for all-viola ensembles, an all-viola symphony, an all-viola opera, a concerto for multiple violas and full symphonic orchestra and two books of educational materials for beginning violin and viola players: 24 Etudes and 12 Divertimenti.
Scott is also the featured soloist for many premiere recordings by 20th and 21st Century composers as well as the first person to have recorded the complete cycle of Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas on viola. His playing has received critical acclaim in the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Musical Opinion, and Strad, and he has been profiled in the Journal of the American Viola Society, Strings, several dissertations, and radio programs thoughout the US and abroad. He has performed for more than twenty years as one half of the award-winning Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo with his wife, Tanya Solomon and taught violin and viola, coached ensembles, and given masterclasses at several academies and colleges in the Northeast. He plays a violin and viola by Hiroshi Iizuka.
Scott was born in 1974 into a family of string players. At eighteen, he was one of the youngest graduates in the history of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. His main teachers have included Barbara Barstow, Emanuel Vardi (1917-2011), and Richard Lane (1933-2004).
Scott began his performing career as the solo violist in the 1992-1993 New York City production of Gerald Busby’s Orpheus in Love, a chamber opera about a viola-playing Orpheus. New York Times' music critic Bernard Holland called the musicians “first rate”, and Scott was invited to premiere Busby's Muse for Solo Viola in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. He gave countless recitals, soloed with orchestras, and performed as a chamber musician with many of the excellent string players and pianists in the greater NYC area. In 1998 he became the first person to record the complete cycle of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas on viola, and he is the featured soloist for the first album produced by the American Viola Society, Premieres. As a composer, he was a fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California, and he was commissioned to write the required work for the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition, Recitative, which served for many years as an audition piece for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. He served on the committee for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition, co-premiering Rachel Matthews’ winning work Dreams at the 2010 International Viola Congress, and he recently wrote Fanfare Under the Sunsphere for the 2020 American Viola Society Festival. His viola duo Prelude was recorded by Basile Morcrette and Christophe Touchard for the French album 'Viola Around the World'.
During their first decade together, Scott and Tanya played throughout North and South America as members of many ensembles, sharing the stage with such Classical greats as Itzhak Perlman, Leonidas Kavakos, Joshua Bell, Roberto Diaz, Yo-yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, and the New York Philharmonic. They toured extensively with the Philadelphia Virtuosi and the São Paulo Symphony and were tenured members of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans, where they were based when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. Scott also held contracts with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops and as principal violist with the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Scott and Tanya recorded film and tv soundtracks for Lionsgate and ABC and can be heard playing excerpts of Scott’s Nocturne and Elegy-Caprice in the final scenes of the award-winning US docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death. Scott can also be heard playing Paganini Caprices on the soundtrack of the controversial Bolivian film Sirwiñakuy as well as an excerpt of Bach’s First Partita during the STV-BBC program The Women Who Went to War- a Great Adventure. Many of Scott's early, out-of-print recordings of virtuoso solo music by Bach, Paganini, and Ernst on viola (originally on the Eroica Classical Recordings label) have been rereleased digitally on the two-volume set “The Fingerboard Less Traveled”.