As both performer and composer, Scott Slapin (b.1974) has made many contributions to the viola recital repertoire. His compositions have been performed by violists across the United States and Europe and at the Primrose, Tertis and ARD Competitions. His viola playing has been praised by string virtuosi from Ruggiero Ricci to Gary Karr, and his recordings have received critical acclaim in the American Record Guide, Strad, Musical Opinion, Mundo Clásico and Fanfare.
His Recitative for Solo Viola was commissioned for the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition and is a required piece for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival. He is the first person to have recorded all of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin on viola, a cycle which he has recorded twice. He has made the premiere recordings of 20th and 21st century works by Blanche Blood, Gerald Busby, John Duke, Arthur Foote, Maurice Gardner, Richard Lane, Ivan Langstroth, Patrick Neher, Boris Pigovat, Frank Proto, David Rimelis, Frederick Slee, and Gustav Strube, many for the American Viola Society. He was on the committee for the inaugural Maurice Gardner Composition Competition, and he co-premiered the winning work, Rachel Matthews' Dreams, at the 38th International Viola Congress.
Slapin was born in 1974 into a family of musicians. At eighteen, he was one of the youngest graduates of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with viola virtuoso Emanuel Vardi (1917-2011). In memory of Vardi, the American Viola Society commissioned him to write Capricious, a viola trio which references several of Paganini's Caprices. Capricious was premiered at the New York Viola Society. His popular Nocturne is dedicated to his composition teacher and mentor Richard Lane (1933-2004) and was premiered in its string quartet version by members of the United States Army Band ("Pershing's Own").
He was featured in the Spring 2010 edition of the Journal of the American Viola Society and can be heard playing Paganini's 24th Caprice on the soundtrack of the Bolivian film Sirwiñakuy. His music is published by Ourtext in London, Liben in Cincinnati and the American Viola Society, and his recordings are available on the Eroica Classical Recordings, Red Mark, and ISG labels. Many of his violacentric chamber works can be heard on the Eroica CD Reflection, played by members of the Slapin family.
As duo recitalists, Slapin and his wife, violist Tanya Solomon, won Best Chamber Music Performance of 2008 at the Big Easy Entertainment Awards in New Orleans.
- Scott Slapin's Website
- Slapin-Solomon Viola Duo
- J.S. Bach Homepage
- Eroica Classical Recordings
- Liben Music, Frank Proto's Three Soundscapes
- Tanya Solomon's Website
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