Pre-concert Composer Talk: Scott Wheeler

Gil Shaham, violin and Akira Eguchi, piano will perform Scott Wheeler's The Singing Turk: Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano on the Great Artists Series concert later in the evening.  First, join Scott Wheeler as he discusses his works.


Scott 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 full-length opera is Naga, on a libretto of Cerise Jacobs, co-commissioned by White Snake Projects and Boston Lyric Opera. His latest operatic project is the 10-minute comedy Midsummer, based on a short play by Don Nigro, commissioned and premiered by Boston Opera Collaborative in October 2018. Other 2018-19 premieres include Dream Songs for Philosonia, Whispered Sarabande for violinist Mark Peskanov at Bargemusic, and “She Left for Good But Came Back” for the Bowers-Fader Duo, all premiering in New York.

Scott’s 2017 violin sonata The Singing Turk is part of the current recital repertoire of Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi, whose performances between 2017 and 2019 take the work to Japan, California, Washington, Boston, St. Louis and elsewhere.

Scott’s previous operas have been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera (commissioned by Placido Domingo) and the Guggenheim Foundation. 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 Light Enough and Songs to Fill the Void, both featuring baritone Robert Barefield and both on Albany Records, and Portraits and Tributes, featuring pianist Donald Berman, on Bridge. 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 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.