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NEWS & EVENTS         

2017

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.

2014

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. The opera, co-commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre, tells the personal and political story of Frederick the Great of Prussia. The Frontiers performance will be part of the final week of the 2015 FWOpera Festival.

Scott Wheeler: Crazy WeatherBMOP/sound is delighted to feature a longtime collaborator, composer Scott Wheeler, on its latest release Scott Wheeler: Crazy Weather. In three orchestral works of striking originality, Wheeler incorporates influences from operatic drama to poetry to geography. Wheeler, who teaches at Emerson College and directs the new music group Dinosaur Annex, is known for his understated yet highly expressive voice. Described by the New York Times as “tonally grounded, [with] polychordal harmonies and elements of modified serialism,” Wheeler’s compositions are constantly shifting prisms of sound and texture.

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.

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.

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.

2013

On April 2, the New York Times praised Mary Nessinger’s performance of Scott’s Wallace Stevens setting Mozart, 1935, finding that “elegant melodic gestures and a few direct Mozart quotes contrasted with a dark sense of unease.”

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.

August 10, 2013, Scott gave a brief talk about Stephen Sondheim’s work at the MacDowell Colony, where Sondheim received the MacDowell Medal. Scott Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim

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

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.

New York Times (January 4, 2013): Three selections from Scott Wheeler’s ever-expanding series “Portraits and Tributes” recalled Virgil Thomson’s elegant solo-piano portraits. Read more.

The Five Boroughs Songbook, released by GPR Records, was recently listed as a best-selling classical album on the Billboard charts. The disc includes the premiere recording of Scott Wheeler's At Home in Staten Island.

WASTING THE NIGHT: SONGS

Scott was interviewed by soprano Martha Guth for her podcast series on art song called Sparks and Wiry Cries. Click here to listen to the podcast.

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)."

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

Wasting the Night CD CoverGrammophone Review: 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.

Naxos release: Wasting the Night: Songs of Scott Wheeler
November 16, 2010 release date
Pianist Donald Berman joins a number of singers to record songs by American composer Scott Wheeler. Grammy® Award-winning producer Adam Abeshouse wrote of the recording sessions:

‘The recording of Scott Wheeler’s songs strikes me as real musical news. He has come up with a fresh approach to American art song by going back to the basics—clearly set, communicative poetry with appealingly direct vocal lines and smart, idiomatic accompaniments. You can tell that Scott studied with American vocal-music master Virgil Thomson. You can also tell that he has spent many years performing the American musical theater repertoire. His songs have quite an expressive range, but all of them speak clearly, especially in the outstanding performances by Susannaa Phillips, Krista River, Joseph Kaiser and William Sharp. Each singer is a major artist and each is experienced singing Scott’s music. The pianist Donald Berman has also performed and recorded Scott’s music; Don’s work adds another dimension to a vocal disc in which he is never merely an accompanist but always a full musical partner. This should be a knockout of a disc.’

Naxos CD Song Texts


Scott has written revised entries on American composers Irwin Bazelon, Kyle Gann, Lee Hyla, Henri Lazarof and Scott Lindroth for the upcoming edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

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.

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.

Guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan has released a CD entitled New Lullaby Project, including Scott Wheeler’s “Nachtlied.” Available on BandCamp, CD Baby, and Amazon.

Susanna Phillips, singing Wasting the Night and Sunday Songs on Scott’s upcoming Naxos cd, has just won a major award. The following is from the New York Times April 21:

Susanna Phillips, a 28-year-old soprano from Huntsville, Ala., was named the winner of the Beverly Sills Artist Award, the Metropolitan Opera said on Wednesday. The award, for singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have appeared in featured solo roles at the Met, has been given annually since 2006, and comes with a prize of $50,000. Ms. Phillips made her Met debut last season in the role of Musetta in “La Bohème”; she has also sung Pamina in “Die Zauberflöte” and will reprise that role in the Met’s 2010-11 season.

Scott was a guest composer at the Norfolk Music Festival in June and July. He spoke on his music and that of his teacher Virgil Thomson. He was also Norfolk’s “expert blogger” regarding their focus on Thomson. His blog interview on Thomson is archived on the Norfolk website.

Scott also had a residency at Yaddo in July, where he worked and played with a splendid group of composers, writers and visual artists.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded Scott a Finalist Award in composition, as part of their Artist Fellowship program.

Scott Wheeler’s acclaimed opera The Construction of Boston has been released on Naxos 8.669018.
Read the complete article.

A new cd on the Navona label, released in May 2009, honors the late composer Donald Martino. Scott Wheeler conducts Dinosaur Annex in Quintino by Peter Homans.

New Music Connoisseur reviews the Naxos cd of The Construction of Boston. The review says, in part: “The musical style is both post-minimalist in orchestration and rhythm and post-modern in its appropriation of styles. Wheeler's opera churns with a rhythmic and polyrhythmic vitality, sliding through unexpected shifts of triad-based harmonies, reminiscent of John Adams' best work. The childlike tone of the libretto, glorifying the world's "best city" and its geographical location, also has the decidedly modernist tone of Glass' and Adams' operas, clean dramatic lines and lots of space in the detail, letting the viewer fill in meaning--the stylized purity of a Soviet propaganda poster.”

The Naxos release of The Construction of Boston has received a number of positive comments in the press. On Sunday September 7, Anne Midgette writes in The Washington Post “embraces the over-the-top theatricality of the form in a contemporary equivalent of opera buffa… Wheeler (whose "Democracy" was done at the Washington National Opera in 2005) finds an antic but wholesome melange of musical styles that proves a good foil for Koch's brand of down-to-earth, gee-whiz, all-American nuttiness.” In The Absolute Sound, Wayne Garcia writes: “the composer has created a unified and original score of shimmering transparency, well-structured drama, and moments of remarkable, often unexpected beauty. A plucked banjo sets the tone in the Overture. The Prologue is an extended dialogue for tenor and piano, and the small cast of soloists, orchestra, and chorus does a first-rate job conveying the sense of an awakening city.”  Colin Clark, writing in Fanfare, praises the performance by Boston Cecilia: “Henry and Sam (taken by tenor Charles Blandy and baritone Marcus DeLoach, respectively) are evenly matched and eloquent. Krista River has a strong, almost contralto-like low register; Sharla Nafziger sings the marvelously named Niki de St. Phalle, the bringer of beauty.”

Friday September 12: Scott accompanies mezzo soprano Krista River in two songs of Noel Coward as part of a concert entitled National Anthem: Classical Musicians Unite to Elect Barack Obama. The concert is at 8PM at Jordan Hall in Boston. http://www.obamaconcert.com/

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