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Guest Conductor Biography: Kevin Scott

By November 3, 2022November 8th, 2022No Comments
Kevin Scott conducting

Kevin Scott will be leading the Springfield Symphony Orchestra at our Audacity of Hope concert on January 14, 2023. Tickets are available online or through our box office.

A tireless advocate of new, unknown or unjustly neglected composers, Kevin Scott has established himself as a conductor of such music, leading various orchestras, choruses and bands throughout the greater New York area and in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Varna, Bulgaria, where he made his European debut in 2000. He is also a composer whose works have been performed by the orchestras of Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis and St. Louis under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, JoAnn Falletta, Yoel Levi, Leslie Dunner and Andre Raphel.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, Scott received his music education at Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York, studying composition with Ulysses Kay and John Corigliano, and later at the Mannes College of Music with Christine Berl and David Tcimpidis, in addition to conducting with Yakov Kreizberg. He also studied conducting privately with Edward Cruz-Carrion and has participated in various conducting workshops led by Kenneth Kiesler, Rossen Milanov, Gustav Meier, Donald Hunsberger, Mark Davis Scatterday, Michael Votta and Mallory Thompson.

From 1990 to 2001, Scott served as music director or resident conductor of numerous organizations in the New York City area, including the Doctor’s Orchestral Society of New York, the Schubert Music Society, the Central City Chorus, and the Bronx Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 to 2014, Scott served as the director of SUNY Orange County Community College’s band program. During his tenure at SUNY Orange, Scott commissioned and premiered several new works for concert band and wind ensemble, and from 2014 to 2018 Scott served as music director of the Maybrook Wind Ensemble.

As a guest conductor, Scott has appeared with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, African-American Philharmonic Orchestra, Manhattan Virtuosi and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, where he has been a regular guest conductor since the fall of 2004. He has also led performances with the Rockaway-Five Towns Symphony, Opera Theatre of Montclair and OperAvant.

Scott has conducted first New York performances of Bernard Herrmann’s The Happy Prince and his suite from Vertigo, William Grant Still’s fourth symphony, Daron Hagen’s Silent Night cycle for chorus, Gary Powell Nash’s Mountain Rhapsody and Leslie Adams’ Ode to Life. In addition, Scott has offered the first American readings of Caroline Newman’s Impressions, Norbert Burgmüller’s first symphony and Johann Rufinatscha’s fourth symphony with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, in addition to the first European performance of Leo Edwards’ Fantasy Overture with the Varna State Philharmonic. Scott is also involved with an ongoing project to record the music of Ulysses Kay for Albany Records, the first volume released in 2007 containing four works receiving their premiere recordings, and is also editing the music of Finnish composer Heikki Suolahti.

A devoted film aficionado, Scott has also written liner notes for new recordings of Bernard Herrmann film scores for the California-based Tribute Film Classics label, and preface notes to several of Hugo Kaun’s works for Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich in Munich. He has also served on the music panel of the New York State Council on the Arts, participated as a lecturer on several panels, and was the host of WNYE-FM’s “Ebony Classics.” Scott’s thoughts as a composer and conductor are reflected in William Banfield’s book Musical Landscapes in Color: Conversations with Black American Composers, published by Greenwood Press.