Scott Slapin

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For information on taking lessons online with Scott, click here.

“…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


You are currently listening to Scott Slapin's Adagio played by the composer with the American Viola Quartet, see video below. 
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"If any contemporary violist continues to carry the torch of the composer-performer, it is Scott Slapin" (Journal of the American Viola Society) Scott Slapin is one of the leading violist-composers of his generation, and his solo and chamber compositions have been performed by hundreds of violists in recital halls throughout the world as well as at major competitions/workshops including the ARD, Primrose, and Tertis. A former artist in residence at the American Viola Society and the Montalvo Arts Center in California, Scott served as a committee member, judge, and performer for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition and has been commissioned by the American Viola Society and the Primrose International Viola Competition. Many of his Neo-Romantic violacentric recital compositions can be heard on ten-plus albums by the Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo, the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble, Viola Around the World, Pioneer Valley Strings, and the American Viola Quartet.

"Slapin is a real viola virtuoso..." (American Record Guide) Scott is featured as soloist and chamber musician on dozens of recordings and was the first person to record the complete cycle of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas on viola. He can be heard playing solo Bach, Paganini Caprices, and some of 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. Scott and Tanya have expanded the repertoire for two violas through many premieres, their own pioneering arrangements, and Scott's compositions, and their duo albums have garnered praise in Strad, the New York Violist, the All Music Guide, and the Journals of the American and Canadian Viola Societies. Scott's solo recordings have received critical acclaim in the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Musical Opinion, and Strad.

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. Scott performed daily as the solo violist for the New York City production of Orpheus In Love, gave countless recitals, soloed with and wrote for orchestras, and saw much of the US and South America playing in ensembles including the symphony orchestras in Cincinnati and São Paulo and the Philadelphia Virtuosi, in which he and Tanya met in 1999. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina from their home in New Orleans, where they were tenured members of the city's orchestra, Scott and Tanya taught at several colleges and academies in the Northeast, settling in western Massachusetts in 2012. They have taught viola and violin lessons online for more than a decade, reaching people on five continents via Skype. Scott also teaches composition and music theory. For more information, please visit violaduo.com.

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Quite impressive… the work was well stated and at times very moving.” -The Home News (NJ)

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


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 Violinist.com (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