Violist-composer Scott Slapin has written more than sixty violacentric recital compositions, which 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 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. Scott and his wife, violist Tanya Solomon, have given countless recitals spanning more than twenty years and made many popular duo arrangements.
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, where he has also been artist in residence. He is a former fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California, and his recital compositions have been performed by hundreds of musicians throughout the world. Scott is also a featured performer on dozens of premiere recordings; his solo viola playing has received critical acclaim in such publications as the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Musical Opinion, and Strad.
Scott was born into a family of string players in 1974 and at eighteen was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music. He was the solo violist for the New York City production of Orpheus In Love, a chamber opera about a viola-playing Orpheus, and gained orchestral experience playing in the Cincinnati Symphony and as principal violist with the Knoxville (Tenn.) Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Scott and Tanya taught at academies and colleges in the Northeast and as duo recitalists won Best Chamber Performance of 2008 at the Big Easy Entertainment Awards in New Orleans, where they were tenured members of the city's orchestra. They met touring as the viola section of the Philadelphia Virtuosi and currently live in western Massachusetts, where they teach privately. For more information, visit 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.
Scott playing Ruggiero Ricci's Storioni violin.
Drawing of Scott by Alexey Neyman.