“If any contemporary violist continues to carry the torch of the composer-performer, it is Scott Slapin.”
Journal of the American Viola Society
"Slapin is a real viola virtuoso..."
American Record Guide
“Slapin’s magnificient playing says ‘Bring it on!’”
“The virtuosity and musicality of Scott Slapin’s performances…surely cannot be improved upon.”
“Scott Slapin is great!”
"well-designed music...emotionally expressive and varied"
New Jersey Star Ledger
0:00 Bach Sonata No. 1 Fugue
0:39 Slapin South Hadley Mass (Adagio)
1:45 Lane Sonata No. 3 (Wind in the Trees)
2:30 Hindemith Sonata Op. 25, Nr. 1 (mvt 4)
3:02 Slapin Sonata in C for two violas (Andante)
4:10 Slapin Adventures in Ancestry (Part 1)
5:20 Slapin Intermezzo for two violas
7:06 Paganini Caprice No. 3
7:50 Slapin Sonata in G for violin and viola (Allegretto)
8:31 Bach Partita No. 2 (Chaconne)
10:00 Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro
11:22 Slapin Lullaby
12:03 Paganini Caprice No. 10
12:35 Ernst The Last Rose of Summer
Scott Slapin (b. 1974, Newark, NJ) grew up in a family of musicians in Central New Jersey. He attended the (University of) North Carolina School of the Arts during high school and at eighteen was one of the youngest graduates with a bachelor's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. His 24 Etudes and Four Seasons of New England are dedicated to his first violin and viola teacher Barbara Barstow, and his viola trio Capricious was written in memory of his final viola teacher Emanuel Vardi (1917-2011). Scott's widely-performed Nocturne is dedicated to his composition teacher, mentor, and friend Richard Lane (1933-2004).
Scott has been performing as a recitalist since the early 1990s. He has premiered solo works by living composers at international viola congresses, Carnegie's Weill Hall, and on many albums. He made rare viola recordings (transposed but unarranged) of the "twin bibles" of upper string playing: Bach's Sonatas and Partitas and Paganini's 24 Caprices-- his 1998 Bach recording was the first complete version ever made on viola, and he can be heard playing solo Bach, Paganini Caprices, and some of his own compositions on various soundtracks for film and TV. During the 1990s Scott performed regularly in recital with pianist Betty Rosenblum and during the first two decades of the 21st Century he appeared often in recital with his wife, violist Tanya Solomon. From the unaccompanied repertoire, he has performed (from memory) the complete cycles of Hindemith's Solo Viola Sonatas and Bach's Sonatas, Partitas, and Suites. 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 Magazine, and radio programs worldwide.
Scott's lyrical, Neo-Romantic recital compositions have been performed by hundreds of violists internationally and can be heard on ten albums performed by the Slapin Solomon Viola Duo, the Wistaria String Quartet, the Penn State Viola Ensemble, Viola Around the World, and the American Viola Quartet. He can be heard playing some of his unaccompanied works in his one-man show, Single-Malt Slapin, as well as in the final scenes of the docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death. A former fellow at 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 Primrose International Viola Competition and the American Viola Society, where he was also a 2020 artist in residence. He has written more than thirty duos; a dozen unaccompanied character pieces; several recital works with piano; four concertos; music for viola choir; music for string quartet; a mass ("for the dead violist"); and a two-viola, one-act opera about Cremonus, God of the Viola.
As a composer, Scott made his debut in 1989 with an orchestral work in the New Jersey State Theater. He began his performing career appearing daily as the on-stage, solo violist for the 1992-1993 Off-Broadway production of Orpheus In Love, a chamber opera by Gerald Busby and Craig Lucas about a viola-playing Orpheus. He gave countless recitals and played regularly with the NYC-area Sutton Ensemble, the Philadelphia Virtuosi, and on contract in the main orchestras in Cincinnati, São Paulo, Knoxville (as principal violist), Alabama, and Louisville, sharing a stand in the last four with Tanya. As former residents of New Orleans, La., where they were tenured members of the state's philharmonic, Scott and Tanya participated in Hurricane Katrina relief concerts nationwide as recitalists and with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic. They won 'Best Chamber Performance of 2008' at New Orleans' Tribute to the Classical Arts for one of their many duo recitals and taught at various academies and colleges in Massachusetts during the 2010s. They have been teaching worldwide via Skype since 2011 and currently make their home in Northwest Vermont.