Scott Slapin

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Scott Slapin's viola playing has received critical acclaim in Fanfare, Strad, the American Record Guide, Mundo Clásico, and Musical Opinion, and his popular recital compositions have been performed by hundreds of viola players throughout the world. Scott and his wife, violist Tanya Solomon, have been performing together as the award-winning Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo for more than twenty years. Many of Scott's compositions can be heard on more than ten albums by the Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo, the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble, Viola Around the World, and the American Viola Quartet. Scott was the first person to record the complete set of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas on viola; in addition to a rare viola recording of Paganini's 24 Caprices, he can be heard playing Bach, Paganini, and some of his own compositions on various soundtracks for film and TV. At eighteen Scott was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He teaches viola, violin, and composition privately online and has reached students on five continents via Skype.

Scott has been commissioned by the Primrose International Viola Competition and the American Viola Society, where he was a 2020 artist in residence, and he has premiered solo viola works in such venues as Carnegie's Weill Hall and at international viola congresses. He was a fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California and served as a committee member, judge, and performer for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition. Scott was born into a family of string players in 1974 and studied composition with Richard Lane and violin/viola with Barbara Barstow and Emanuel Vardi. He performed daily as the on-stage solo violist for the 1992-1993 New York City production of Orpheus In Love, a chamber opera about a viola-playing Orpheus, and gained orchestral experience playing in the Cincinnati and São Paulo Symphonies, among others. Scott and Tanya met touring as the viola section of the Philadelphia Virtuosi and have taught at various colleges and academies in western Massachusetts. For more than one-hundred viola videos, visit Scott and Tanya's YouTube channel.

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"Slapin is a real viola virtuoso..." (American Record Guide)

…great talent not only as a violist but as a composer” -Journal of the American Viola Society

Slapin’s magnificient playing says ‘Bring it on!’” -Fanfare

Scott Slapin is great!” -Ruggiero Ricci

well-designed music…emotionally expressive and varied” -New Jersey Star Ledger

The virtuosity and musicality of Scott Slapin’s performances…surely cannot be improved upon.” -Musical Opinion

first rate viola virtuoso…” -Journal of the Canadian Viola Society

instrumentista exceptional” -Mundo Clasico

wonderful playing… sonorous and rich” -The New York Violist

tonal and rhythmic command” -Strad Magazine

"If any contemporary violist continues to carry the torch of the composer-performer, it is Scott Slapin." (Journal of the American Viola Society)

You are currently listening to
Scott Slapin's Adagio played by the composer with the American Viola Quartet
Slapin, Solomon, and Rondeau performing at the 2012 Viola Congress

Scott demonstrating a Paganini Caprice on
the viola during a masterclass at the
Hartt School of Music.

Composers Forum at 2008 Viola Congress

Scott and Tanya giving a class on the
Bach Chaconne at the Lyra Festival and
Workshop at Smith College.

Slapin premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at 2010 Viola Congress.

The Slapin-Solomon Duo premiering Scott’s 
Four Seasons of New England at the
Gaylord Library in South Hadley, MA.

Slapin, Solomon, and Rondeau performing at the 2012 Viola Congress

Scott performing his own piece, Capricious, with Tanya Solomon and Ila Rondeau at the 2012 Viola Congress in Rochester, NY. (photo by Dwight Pounds)

Composers Forum at 2008 Viola Congress

Composers Forum at the 2008 Viola Congress in Tempe, AZ. From left to right: Moderator James DeMars and composers Scott Slapin, Bruce E. Miller, and Kenji Bunch. 

Slapin premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at 2010 Viola Congress.

Scott premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at the 2010 Viola Congress in Cincinnati, OH (with composer).
(photo by Dwight Pounds)

Slapin, Solomon, and Rondeau performing at the 2012 Viola Congress

The Wistaria String Quartet recording an album of
Scott’s music.

Composers Forum at 2008 Viola Congress

Scott at Penn State coaching the viola ensemble, giving a masterclass, and playing a recital. 

Slapin premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at 2010 Viola Congress.

A recital at the Williston Northampton
School where Scott taught violin and viola and
coached the ensemble.

Slapin, Solomon, and Rondeau performing at the 2012 Viola Congress

Slapin on the campus of Mt. Holyoke College where he taught viola and coached chamber music.

Composers Forum at 2008 Viola Congress

  Scott presenting his educational series 'Greatest Hits from the Twenties' for Ron Houston's teaching studio in Texas.

Slapin premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at 2010 Viola Congress.

Performing Elliot Corner’s Energico for solo viola
in Amherst, MA.

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Scott recording one of Frank Proto's Soundscapes
in Cincinnati, OH.
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Scott playing Ruggiero Ricci's Storioni violin.
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Drawing of Scott by Alexey Neyman.
Click links for playlists of Scott's compositions at YouTube: 

Music for Solo Viola 
Viola Duo 
Viola Choir 
Viola in Mixed Ensembles 
String Quartet 
Violacentrism, The Opera

Scott's blog posts from his artist residency at the American Viola Society:

Celebrating 300 Years of Bach

The Difference Between a Composer Who Writes Viola Music and a 'Violist-Composer'

Cremonus and the Violacentric Religion

Ditching the Shoulder Rest

The Composer's (Holy?) Intentions

Violacentrism > Viola Separatism

Parochialism in Music

Viola Lessons... Online?

The Popularity of the Viola

Other articles by Scott Slapin:

Our Time in New Orleans Before and After Hurricane Katrina 

Our Decade-Long Adventure in the Orchestra World 

Notes From the Fingerboard Less Traveled 

Greatest Hits from the Twenties

Click here to read some of Scott's blog posts over at (scroll down for blog posts). 

Read about Scott's viola and violin by Hiroshi Iizuka.

To read more editorial reviews of Scott's CDs, click here. 
Photos by Tanya Solomon