Scott Slapin is an American composer, violist, violinist, teacher, and arranger. His chamber music has been widely performed throughout the world, and his solo playing has received critical acclaim in such publications as the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Musical Opinion, and Strad. He has written nine albums of chamber music for strings with performances by the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble, the American Viola Quartet, and the Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo. He is the first person to have recorded the complete cycle of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas on viola and can be heard playing solo Bach, Paganini Caprices, and his own compositions on various soundtracks for film and TV. A former fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California, Scott served as committee member, judge, and performer for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition and has been commissioned by the Primrose International Viola Competition and the American Viola Society. He teaches violin, viola, and composition in western Massachusetts as well as worldwide via Skype.
Scott was born into a family of musicians in 1974. He studied composition with Richard Lane and violin/viola with Barbara Barstow and Emanuel Vardi. At the age of eighteen, he was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music, and he was performing daily as the solo violist for the Off-Broadway production of Orpheus In Love. He gave countless recitals, made dozens of premiere recordings, wrote for and soloed with orchestras, and premiered solo works in such venues as Carnegie's Weill Hall and at international viola congresses. He played on contract in the main symphony orchestras in Cincinnati, Louisville, New Orleans, and São Paulo (Brazil), sharing a stand in the last three with his wife, violist Tanya Solomon. Scott and Tanya met touring with the Philadelphia Virtuosi, subsequently serving as principal violists in the Knoxville and Chattanooga (Tenn.) Symphonies respectively. Based in western Mass., they have taught at several academies and colleges and have been performing together as the award-winning Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo for more than twenty years.
Scott's music is tonal, lyrical, and expressive, with influences from much of the Western Classical canon and beyond. To listen to some, and for information about recordings, sheet music, lessons etc., visit www.scottslapin.com.
Scott demonstrating a Paganini Caprice on
the viola during a masterclass at the
Hartt School of Music.
Scott and Tanya giving a class on the
Bach Chaconne at the Lyra Festival and
Workshop at Smith College.
The Slapin-Solomon Duo premiering Scott’s
Four Seasons of New England at the
Gaylord Library in South Hadley, MA.
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 the 2008 Viola Congress in Tempe, AZ. From left to right: Moderator James DeMars and composers Scott Slapin, Bruce E. Miller, and Kenji Bunch.
Scott premiering Rachel Matthews’ Dreams at the 2010 Viola Congress in Cincinnati, OH (with composer).
(photo by Dwight Pounds)
The Wistaria String Quartet recording an album of
Scott at Penn State coaching the viola ensemble, giving a masterclass, and playing a recital.
A recital at the Williston Northampton
School where Scott taught violin and viola and
coached the ensemble.
Slapin on the campus of Mt. Holyoke College where he taught viola and coached chamber music.
Scott recording one of Frank Proto’s Soundscapes
in Cincinnati, OH.
Performing Elliot Corner’s Energico for solo viola
in Amherst, MA.