Scott Wheeler, ComposerScott Wheeler was born in Washington DC. He studied at Amherst College, New England Conservatory and Brandeis University (PhD 1984), where his principal teachers were Lewis Spratlan and Arthur Berger. He pursued further study at the Tanglewood Music Center (with Olivier Messiaen), the Dartington School (with Peter Maxwell Davies) and privately with Virgil Thomson. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston, where he co-directs the BFA program in musical theatre. In 1975 he was a founding member of the new-music ensemble Dinosaur Annex.

Click here to read Scott Wheeler's full biography.


Krista River and Scott Wheeler


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

"Angle of the Sun"

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

"Construction" (Opening)

Act I


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

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

Scott’s co-commission from the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre is moving toward a first workshop at the Met in the spring of 2013. Scott has almost finished a draft of the piano vocal score of The Sorrows of Frederick, on a libretto of the late Romulus Linney.

Shalin Liu is best known in Boston musical circles as the naming donor of the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. However, her background is in literature and philosophy, and she has written a good deal of poetry. Scott has set Ms. Liu’s poem Embraced by Velvet Night, which will be premiered by Boston Cecilia May 4 at 1st Church Cambridge. This concert will also be the final concert of Donald Teeters, who is retiring as music director.

The May 4 concert, curated by Scott, is of music by composers with various relations to Boston, including Donald Martino, Arthur Berger, Tom Cipullo and Andrew Rindfleisch. Other work of Scott’s on the program includes the premiere of his New Love Song Waltzes, on texts of Donne and Shakespeare, and Whiskers and Rhymes, on texts of Arnold Lobel and Jack Prelutsky.

Scott was interviewed by Evelyn Austin for the spring 2012 edition of arts journal Kunstlicht, focusing on the connection between poets and artists in New York City. The interview deals with Scott’s setting of Kenneth Koch’s The Construction of Boston, featuring artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Tinguely and Niki de St. Phalle.

Scott was interviewed by Vivian Perlis at Tanglewood in July 1992, as part of her massive Oral History of American Music at Yale University. That interview is now listed on the website of OHAM at Yale.

From Opera News January 2012:
INSTANT REPLAYS: "Tracks that deserve special attention included … any of Susanna Phillips's contributions to Wasting the Night, an album of Scott Wheeler songs (Naxos)."

Scott interviewed in Le Monde
Read the full article.

The texts for the Naxos CD Wasting the Night are now available online.

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

Wasting the Night: Songs by Scott Wheeler
Naxos CD of songs by Scott Wheeler
has been released and the reviews are in! Gramophone: "The music of Scott Wheeler is rich in just those qualities which we admire in ourselves and adore in others. It is warm, earnestly and ardently tonal, with an elusive lyrical quality that makes it classical music for sure. It has the power to be sinister, as in two Emily Dickinson songs, or to rage as in four Blake songs which seethe with raw appetite."
Read more here.

Camera Dances is on the repertoire list for the International Schubert Competition at University of Graz in Austria, February 2012

On January 15, 2011, Romulus Linney passed away. I was fortunate enough to work with Romulus on two operas: Democracy and an upcoming opera for the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre. This is a very great loss to the worlds of theatre, literature and music. I’m deeply grateful to have been able to work with this profound writer and good friend. I’ll miss him more than I can say.

Jeremy Eichler's Classical Music Picks (Best of the Year)
Boston Globe
December 26, 2010
SEA CHANGE: Opening weekend at Shalin Liu Performance Center including Scott Wheeler’s “Granite Coast,’’ Rockport Chamber Music Festival.

Scott has accepted a position on the board of directors of Antilever, a new poetry press. He has also accepted a position on the advisory board of the Bogliasco Foundation. He continues to serve on the Education Board for the Youth Orchestra of America, and is Vice President of the Virgil Thomson Foundation.

Lloyd Schwartz
Boston Phoenix
December 1, 2010
The entire program, called "Virtuosity's Velocity," was a mixture of the wet (Ross Lee Finney's nostalgic 1971 Landscapes Remembered) and the martini dry (Arthur Berger's 1956 Chamber Music for 13 Players), Scott Wheeler's stealthy, erotically noirish City of Shadows (2007) being a dirtier martini with a neat bourbon chaser.

Reviews are in for the premiere of Scott Wheeler's Granite Coast: Keith Powers from the Boston Herald writes: "The musical highlight was clearly Wheeler’s elegant trio. In three movements,alternately giving the dominant role to each of the instruments, “Granite Coast” celebrated the spirit of the evening without sacrificing substance." Read more.

Susanna Phillips, singing Wasting the Night and Sunday Songs on Scott’s upcoming Naxos cd, has just won a major award. Read more.

Scott Wheeler to receive Composer of the Year award from the Classical Recording Foundation. Read more.

See the calendar for various spring performances, including the premiere of Spirit Geometry with Joshua Gordon and Randall Hodgkinson, Wakefield Doubles with Gil Rose conducting BMOP, and the premiere of Granite Coast at the new Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA.

Scott was a guest composer at the Norfolk Music Festival
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Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded Scott a Finalist Award in Composition
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The Ditson Fund has awarded a grant to the Classical Recording Foundation for a new Naxos disc of music for piano and voice by Scott Wheeler
Read more


December 1, 2012: The Gold Standard Cassandra Alley, Daniel Byrne, Clayton Smith, cond. Ludlow Hallman Minsky Hall, University of Maine

October 14, 2012: At Home in Staten Island. Hope Hudson, soprano and Stephanie Chase, violin. New York, location TBA

September 14, 2012: Arietta and Birthday Card for Tony. Wayman Chin and Naoko Sugiyama, piano, Septemberfest at Longy School of Music

September 9, 2012: Spirit Geometry and Portraits. Chamber Music at Wistariahurst, Holyoke, MA

September 7, 2012: Spirit Geometry and Portraits. Chamber Music at Wistariahurst, Hadley, MA

August 8, 2012: Selected Portraits. Olga Vinokur at Bargemusic

June 17, 2012: The Little Dragon (excerpts). Tales and Scales at Audubon State Park, Henderson, KY

June 2, 2012: At Home in Staten Island. The Five Boroughs Ensemble at Staten Island Museum

June 1, 2012: The Little Dragon (excerpts). Tales and Scales at Bower-Suhrheinrich Gallery, Evansville, Indiana

June 1, 2012: Spirit Geometry. Natasha Farny and Kuang-Hao, Bargemusic, New York

May 31, 2012: At Home in Staten Island. The Five Boroughs Ensemble at Bronx Museum of the Arts

May 2012: Granite Coast; Dinosaur Annex, Beijing Modern Music Festival

April 15, 2012: Spirit Geometry and Portraits, Chamber Music Society at Wistariahurst, Holyoke, MA

April 14, 2012: Spirit Geometry and Portraits, Chamber Music Society at Wistariahurst, Amherst, MA

February 2012: Camera Dances is on the repertoire list for the International Schubert Competition at University of Graz in Austria.

January 19, 2012: Slate River. Leah Zelnick, David Russell, Hugh Hinton at Harvard Musical Association

January 15, 2012: Wasting the Night. Tobé Malawista and Sara Kohane. American Church in Paris

January 12, 2012: At Home in Staten Island. The Five Boroughs Ensemble at Bernard Baruch College, NY

November 12, 2011: At Home in Staten Island. The Five Boroughs Ensemble at Flushing Town Hall, Queens

October, 2011: Camera Dances in Chicago; At Home in Staten Island in Brooklyn, NY.

September 22, 2011
Cliff Walk premiere of version of piano duet. Olga Vinokur and David Kalhous, piano, Bargemusic, NY

August 28, 2011
Two Portraits
. Stanley Wong, piano. DoReMi Music Wonderland Recital Hall, Hong Kong.

June 2011
Scott is enjoying a fellowship at Yaddo, where he is working on the operatic version of The Sorrows of Frederick by Romulus Linney.

Feb 6, 2011
Hot Air Music Festival at San Francisco Conservatory: Sons of Noah by Stephen Hartke will be performed; Scott Wheeler’s essay on the work will be included in the program notes for the concert.

Feb. 11, 2011
Touch and Go:
Tango for string orchestra; Commissioned premiere with Chamber Orchestra of Boston, David Feltner conductor. First Church Boston.

February 8, 2011
Arias from The Construction of Boston. American Modern Ensemble, Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, NY

March 1, 2011
Aaron Larget-Caplan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

April 17, 2011 at 8:30pm
Serenata, tenor Greg Zavracky, pianist Claire Lin, part of their recital of contemporary American art song. Boston University Concert Hall.

June 5, 2011
Camera Dances.
The Chicago Ensemble, Pianoforte Salon, Chicago

October 15, 2011
Songs for Isabella. Commissioned premiere with Mirror Visions Ensemble. Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris

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