Scott Slapin's viola playing has received critical acclaim in such publications as the American Record Guide, Fanfare, Mundo Clásico, Musical Opinion, and Strad. His compositions have been performed by violists across the United States and Europe as well as at the ARD, Primrose, and Tertis Competitions.
He has given countless recitals and written two albums of violacentric recital music: All Viola, All the Time and Reflection. His Recitative for Solo Viola was commissioned for the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition and is currently a required piece for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival. He served on the committee for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition, and he is a former fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center in California.
Scott has premiered and/or made the premiere recordings of dozens of solo and duo recital works by 20th and 21st Century composers including Blanche Blood, Gerald Busby, Robert Cobert, John Duke, Arthur Foote, Maurice Gardner, Richard Lane, Ivan Langstroth, Rachel Matthews, Patrick Neher, Boris Pigovat, Frank Proto, David Rimelis, Frederick Slee, and Gustav Strube. He is the featured soloist on the first album produced by the American Viola Society, Premieres.
Scott was born into a family of musicians in New Jersey in 1974. At the age of fourteen he made his debut as a composer in the New Jersey State Theater with an orchestral work favorably reviewed in the New Jersey Star Ledger. He made his performing debut as the solo violist in the 1992-1993 New York City production of Gerald Busby's Orpheus In Love, a chamber opera about a viola-playing Orpheus. The following year he was invited to premiere Busby's Muse for Solo Viola in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. He freelanced in the New York area, gave many recitals, and spent 'the oughts' with his wife, violist Tanya Solomon, playing throughout the US and South America on the orchestra circuit. As duo recitalists, Scott and Tanya performed at several international viola congresses and won Best Chamber Music Performance of 2008 at the Big Easy Entertainment Awards in New Orleans. They live in South Hadley, MA, where they maintain a private violin/viola teaching studio. They also teach worldwide via Skype. For information, visit www.violaduo.com.
At eighteen Scott was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with viola virtuoso Emanuel Vardi (1917-2011). Under Vardi's influence, he played and recorded virtuoso transcriptions from the violin repertoire including the complete sets of J. S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas and Paganini's 24 Caprices. His 1998 recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas was the first complete version ever made on viola, and he can be heard playing Paganini Caprices on the soundtrack of the controversial Bolivian film Sirwiñakuy. In memory of Vardi, Scott wrote the viola trio Capricious. His popular Nocturne is dedicated to his composition teacher and mentor Richard Lane (1933-2004) and can be heard along with his Elegy-Caprice in the final scenes of the docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death.
Scott was featured in a lengthy interview in the Spring 2010 Journal of the American Viola Society (AVS). His music is published by Ourtext in London, Liben in Cincinnati, and the AVS, and his recordings are available on the Eroica Classical Recordings, Red Mark, AVS, and ISG labels.