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Scott Wheeler, ComposerScott Wheeler is an award-winning composer, conductor, pianist and teacher with a multifaceted career. Although his chamber and orchestral music shows a wide range, it is his prominent profile as a composer of vocal and operatic music that defines his career and artistic personality. Wheeler’s most recent opera is Naga, on a libretto of Cerise Jacobs, co-commissioned by White Snake Projects and Boston Lyric Opera. His previous operas have been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera (commissioned by Placido Domingo) and the Guggenheim Foundation. Current and recent commissions include 200 Dreams from Captivity for baritone and orchestra on texts of Wang Dan, Ben Gunn on texts of Paul Muldoon, and Nightingale, a new narrative ballet with choreographer Melissa Barak. In recent seasons, Wheeler’s works have been performed in Boston, Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Austria, Italy, Panama, Winnipeg, Hong Kong and Beijing. Singers who have performed and recorded the music of Scott Wheeler include Renee Fleming, Sanford Sylvan, Susanna Phillips, Anthony Roth Costanzo, William Sharp and Joseph Kaiser.

Scott’s most recent CDs include Portraits and Tributes, featuring pianist Donald Berman, on Bridge, and Songs to Fill the Void, featuring baritone Robert Barefield and pianist Carolyn Hague, on Albany. Other Wheeler CDs include Crazy Weather, with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose, Wasting the Night -- songs for voice and piano, and the opera The Construction of Boston, both available on Naxos; Shadow Bands features Scott’s chamber music for strings and piano with the Gramercy Trio, recorded on Newport Classic.


Scott Wheeler with Gil Shaham, checking out violins backstage, talking music at the sound check, and with the wonderful pianist Akira Eguchi after their performance of Scott's sonata The Singing Turk.

Scott Wheeler divides his time between New York and Boston, where he is Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College. At Emerson he has conducted musical theatre works by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Cy Coleman and many others. He is a recognized expert in the coaching and analysis of songs from the entire history of American musical theatre, from the early 20th century to the latest shows in New York and elsewhere. Performers who have studied with Scott Wheeler are currently performing on Broadway, in Broadway tours, in regional theatre and in cabaret. Several of his students have also made careers as theatrical songwriters.

Click here to read Scott Wheeler's full biography.

 

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“Wheeler can be witty, but he avoids the merely clever; the portraits have real heart to them.”
American Record Guide

“Lovers of down-to-earth, intelligent American piano writing should check out this release.”
American Record Guide

Scott with choreographer Melissa Barak announcing a new ballet project at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU
Click here to see more photographs.

"The less-is-more approach induced a wistful longing and shaded emotions, mirrored eerily by shadow-play on the wood—slatted balcony and limestone tracery; so we witnesses were transported."
Boston Musical Intelligencer

“The Trio, his second, shines with craftsmanship. How else could this music bear so much information with such high energy and still give an air of delicacy and transparency?”
The New York Times

“There are long, inspired passages of radiance … his orchestration is inevitably supple, colorful and assured. This is Wheeler's first full-length opera: I hope there will be many more.”
The Washington Post

“The BMOP program opened with Scott Wheeler's delightful and witty Gold Standard, with its two Buddhist monks (here, tenor Charles Blandy and baritone David Kravitz) parsing monetary policy en route to more profound truths.”
Boston Globe

“a beautiful corpus of works for voice and piano on texts of poetic stature.”
Le Monde

“The second half of the concert was devoted to the premiere of Scott Wheeler’s absorbing Violin Concerto; this work features a truly inventive sense of color, with mandolin, harpsichord, and marimba suggesting baroque throwbacks and a sense of pacing that works in several time frames at once… a major work in every sense of the word, and it can only be hoped that Toledo audiences will have more chances to hear and absorb it.”
Toledo Blade (Violin Concerto)

“…an appealingly fluid work by Scott Wheeler with rippling textures that recalled the work of Keith Jarrett.”
The New York Times

“Wheeler is one of the freshest American voices I know writing for the lyric stage. He studied with Virgil Thomson, and gained from him a taste for two essential virtues: clarity and wit.”
Fanfare

“In addition to Thomson, whom Wheeler occasionally quotes, the eclectic music flashes reminders of Messiaen, Weill, Gilbert and Sullivan-even Gregorian chant. Still, the composer has created a unified and original score of shimmering transparency, well-structured drama, and moments of remarkable, often unexpected beauty.”
The Absolute Sound

 

Composer Scott Wheeler joined the panel to discuss his new opera "Naga".
CLICK HERE to view the interview

Scott Wheeler interview with SoundNotion Panel on his most recent opera, Naga.

 


Scott Wheeler
  
  


Scott Wheeler and
Stephen Sondheim

  
  
Scott Wheeler and Placido Domingo
Scott Wheeler and
Placido Domingo

Alexander Nishibun, tenor, sings Scott Wheeler's "Serenata" with Calliope's Call. See the YouTube video.

See the Trailer for "Portraits" The Piano Music of Scott Wheeler".

Interview with SoundNotionTV on Scott Wheeler's newest opera," Naga" (Co-commissioned by White Snake Projects and Boston Lyric Opera). Click here for the video.

"Touch and Go"
Click here for a video clip.

"Angle of the Sun"
Listen

"Wasting the Night"
Thursday Listen
I Shall Forget You Listen

"Construction" (Opening)
Listen

"Democracy"
Act I
Listen

   

In May 2018, Scott receives an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The other winners are Kathryn Alexander, Andrew Rudin and Christopher Theofanidis. The press release states:

Four composers will receive $10,000 Arts and Letters Awards in Music, which honor outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledge composers who have arrived at their own voice. They will each receive an additional $10,000 toward the recording of one work and have their music presented in a concert at the Academy in the spring of 2019.

Scott is a 2017 recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This is his second fellowship from the MCC.

Scott also received a fellowship from Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he spent much of June and July in the company of a delightful and distinguished group of composers, writers, and visual artists. This was his fourth Yaddo fellowship.

Read Lynn Bayley's review of Scott Wheeler's Portraits and Tributes CD on the Art Music Lounge.

Photographer Jill Steinberg caught some glimpses of a new ballet with choreographer Melissa Barak – see photo pages

Scott’s third opera, The Sorrows of Frederick, on a libretto by Romulus Linney, will be part of the Frontiers workshop program at Fort Worth Opera. Performances are May 7 and 8, 2015.
Read more.

October 11, 2014: Wistaria, the Chamber Music Society of Western Massachusetts gave a neatly varied concert under the heading of “The Company of Virgil”. The main event honored Boston’s own Scott Wheeler, who spoke informally at the intermission about his friendship with Virgil Thomson.
Read more.

200 Dreams of Captivity performed in Winnipeg and at the Shalin-Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA.


More information.

Interview with Scott on the topic of his teacher Virgil Thomson.

Scott was selected as the 2014 Frances and William Schuman Fellow of the MacDowell Colony.

BMOP/sound releases a new album of music by Scott Wheeler: Crazy Weather, showcasing the orchestral works of this New England-based composer. Conductor Gil Rose leads the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) with sparkling clarity and panache. Read more.

Scott conducts Drinking Songs by Arthur Levering on the recent CD release on New World, Parallel Universe, which has already received great reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

BMOP Sound will release a new CD of Scott’s orchestral music, Crazy Weather, featuring Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose. Watch for the release date – soon.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer on the Radius Ensemble’s premiere of the chamber version of 200 Dreams from Captivity with baritone Aaron Engebreth. The less-is-more approach induced a wistful longing and shaded emotions, mirrored eerily by shadow-play on the wood—slatted balcony and limestone tracery; so we witnesses were transported when Engebreth finally intoned, “In the hours before dusk and dawn, [we] taste the rewards of time, the joy of hope.”

May 23-June 2, 2014: Scott will be in residence at the Alba Music Festival in Alba, Italy. He will run a seminar in performance of American musical theatre and art song.

On May 21, 2014 Scott will receive the 2014 Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

May 19, 2014: Arietta is the required work for the Ruth Davidson Competition at the New England Piano Teachers Association.

January 2014: Scott’s piano piece Arietta, a portrait of Nancy Armstrong, was selected to be the required work for the Ruth Davidson Competition of the New England Piano Teachers Association. The competition open to students in grades 9-11. Each contestant will perform four works of their own choosing plus Arietta. In addition to the three awards for the Ruth Davidson competition, the A Ramon Rivera Contemporary Music Award is a special award for the best performance of the required piece.

Many of Scott Wheeler's scores are now available online here. Hard copies and PDF's are available for most scores.

Now accepting PayPal

New sound clips added! Listen here to Embraced by Velvet Night and New Love Song Waltzes.

Scott Wheeler's songs are now available for purchase from Classical Vocal Reprints.

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August 16, 2019: Night Songs.Resinosa Ensemble, Eastport Center for the Arts, Eastport, Maine

April 7, 2019: The Singing Turk. Gil Shaham violin, Akira Eguchi piano. Washington University, St. Louis

February 2, 2019: Night Songs. Resinosa Ensemble, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

November 30, 2018: Dream Songs. First performance. Philosonia, Old Stone House, Brooklyn, NY

November 10, 2018: Night Songs. Premiere of version for soprano, cello and piano. Resinosa Ensemble, : UUCC guest artist concert series, Augusta, Maine

October 26-28: Midsummer. First performance. Boston Opera Collaborative, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA

June 30, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Bowers-Fader Duo, Ulmer Park Library, Brooklyn, NY


Scott Wheeler and Gil Shaham

June 24, 2018: The Singing Turk. Gil Shaham violin, Akira Eguchi piano. Kioi Hall, Tokyo, Japan

June 24, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Bowers-Fader Duo, Sundays on the Hill, Weston, VT

June 21, 2018: The Singing Turk. Gil Shaham violin, Akira Eguchi piano. Osaka, Japan

June 21, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Bowers-Fader Duo, Make Music NY

June 14, 2018: Nachtlied, Aaron Larget-Caplan. Arts and Ideas Festival, New Haven, CT

June 8, 2018: Recuerdo, Keeping the Sabbath, Even the Lies, Litany. Elena Snow mezzo soprano. The Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme at Snape Maltings, England

June 3, 2018: Sleeping on a Wire. Music from Salem, Salem NY

May 26, 2018: Cliff Walk. Scott Wheeler, Gregory Hayes. Amherst College

May 18, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Bowers-Fader Duo, Queens New Music Festival

May 18, 2018: The Sorrows of Frederick. Act 1. Development Series at the Center for Contemporary Opera, Irondale, New York. Mark Shapiro conductor.

May 13, 2018: Sonata #2 for cello and piano – Jonathan Miller and Diane Walsh, Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA

May 8, 2018: Oriole. Harriet Hung and Jonathan Shin, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA

May 7, 2018: To a Wild Rose. Scott Wheeler piano, Gotham Hall, New York

April 22, 2018: Sonata #2 for cello and piano – Jonathan Miller and Boston Artists Ensemble, Brookline, MA

April 20, 2018: Wasting the Night. Martha Guth and Benjamin Binder. Michigan State University Conference on 20th and 21st Century Song Cycles. Performance preceded by scholarly presentation on the cycle by Benjamin Binder.

April 20, 2018: Sonata #2 for cello and piano – Jonathan Miller and Boston Artists Ensemble, Salem, MA

April 8, 2018: Wasting the Night. Megan Roth, Topsfield, MA

April 7, 2018: Et Tu Brute Mirror Visions Ensemble, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris

March 31, 2018: Study in Concord, Beth Levin, New England Conservatory, Boston
March 24, 2018 Midnight Bells, Donald Berman, Clark University

March 29, 2018: Prayer of St. Teresa. Schola of All Saints Church Brookline MA

March 24, 2018: Midnight Bells, Donald Berman, Clark University

March 22, 2018: Village Music, Sysygy Wind Quintet Szeged, Hungary

March 18, 2018: The Singing Turk. Gil Shaham violin, Akira Eguchi piano. Chicago Symphony Center

March 12, 2018: Et Tu Brute Mirror Visions Ensemble, Sheen Center’s Loreto Theatre, New York

March 7, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Kathleen Roland and Kenneth Meyer. Song Collaborators Consortia Syracuse University

March 5, 2018: New Village Music --  First NY performance. Exponential Ensemble, Tenri Cultural Institute, NYC

February 28, 2018: Sleeping on a Wire. Boston Conservatory

February 24, 2018: Canzoni italiane. Bowers-Fader Duo, Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn

February 17, 2018: Et Tu Brute Mirror Visions Ensemble, Salem Classical, Salem MA

February 3, 2018: Dragon Mountain performed by students at Lynn Conservatory, Boca Raton, FL

February 3, 2018: Et Tu Brute Mirror Visions Ensemble, Premiere, NY Library for the Performing Arts

January 21, 2018: Dragon Mountain, Village Music, Calamity Rag, City of Shadows, Nightingale performed by students at Lynn Conservatory, Scott Wheeler conductor

January 20, 2018: Pas de Malheur, Fables, Skyline, Sunset, Pseudo-Rag, Park View performed by students at Lynn Conservatory, Boca Raton, FL

January 14, 2018: Ben Gunn – Cabiria Jacobson and Jason Wirth, New Haven, CT

January 3, 2018: “Prologue Aria” from the ballet Nightingale. Stone Ridge Concerts, Mystic, CT. Erica Petrocelli, soprano, Scott Wheeler piano.

January 3, 2018: Portrait of Steve. Stone Ridge Concerts, Mystic, CT. Scott Wheeler piano.

January 1-4, 2018: The Singing Turk – First NY performance. . Jesse Mills and Rieko Azawa. Bargemusic, New York