Lucas He has premiered other works by
Busby including his Muse for Solo Viola in Carnegie's Weill Hall
(1994), and he has inspired other outstanding American composers
including Richard Lane, David Noon and Frank Proto to write him solo
works as well. In the late 1990's, Scott gave the premiere
performances of Richard Lane's Third Viola Sonata and Richard Lane's
Nocturne for Solo Viola, and he has recently recorded a new
unaccompanied work by Cincinnati composer Frank Proto to be released
at a date TBA on the Red Mark label. Scott was the first violist in
history to have recorded the complete cycle of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and
Partitas on the viola (available through Eroica Classical Recordings),
a cd-set which has been widely featured in print and on radio.
Scott and his wife, violist Tanya Solomon,
often perform together as a duo, and they can be heard playing
Leclair's Sonata for Two Violas on an Eroica Classical Recordings
compact disc entitled Sonatas by Lane, Leclair and Handel (JDT3134).
Scott and Tanya have toured extensively throughout the United States
and South America as members of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber
Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony
Orchestra (OSESP), and they are former principal violists of the
Knoxville and Chattanooga symphonies.
Myron Rosenblum, founder and first
president of the American Viola Society wrote, "Scott Slapin is a
musician of great talent and abilities - a violist of technical
accomplishments and superior musicality. He is a violist to watch"
Virtuoso doublebassist Gary Karr wrote of Scott's playing and
composing, "He has a beautiful sound with a compelling musical
intensity, and he plays with a passion that demands one's attention.
I especially liked his own pieces which, like his playing, are rich
in emotional energy.... a very impressive display of artistry and
Visit the cds section
of this website to see Scott Slapin's latest cd releases.
Interview with Scott Slapin
did you begin creating music?
Scott: I began
playing at the age of six. My mother made me(!) My parents (and many
other relatives) are musicians.
I began to compose on
my own around the age of eleven or so. For me it was maybe around
the age of fourteen that I didn't need to be forced to practice the
viola anymore. Ever since then I haven't been able to stop.
musician or musicians have inspired you the most?
S: In person
and on record: Emanuel Vardi and Gary Karr. On record: Jascha
Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh and William Primrose. This
is the abridged list, of course.
E: How about
other artists or authors?
S: The list
would really be too long. . . perhaps I should mention Philip Roth's
novels and Don Byron playing Klezmer music.
E: What do you
want your music to communicate?
S: This of
course depends upon the piece....In general, though, there is always
a certain mood/emotion I am trying to impart to the listener. This
could be anything ranging from the very profound and spiritual (The
Bach Sonatas and Partitas for example) to the dramatic and emotional
(Bloch's Prayer), to the absolutely silly and ridiculous (Ernst's Last
Rose Variations on viola--or my own The Hassid and The
Hayseed which combines Americana and Jewish folk music.)
Regarding the Ernst
Variations on the Last Rose which is one of the most difficult
pieces ever written for the violin, a couple people have said to me,
"You know, that piece isn't really suited to the viola."
I then respond,
"That's the whole point!"
Actually, it's not
really suited to the violin either, but it's definitely not suited
to the viola. What's fun about it is that it is a bunch of
circus-like stunts on a simple tune which should shock and astound
the audience and make them laugh a bit. (I feel that way about some
of the Paganini Caprices on the viola as well.) I think some don't
'get it' because they expect everything only to be serious.
Classical music can
(and should) convey the same range of emotions that are present in
any other genre of music--and that are present in life (including
even having a sense of humor at times).
Feel free to visit my
website at: www.scottslapin.com
and read all about it!