Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Stephen Scott

Stephen Scott composes for and directs the internationally acclaimed Bowed Piano Ensemble, a CC student group that records professionally and tours extensively, performing at major arts festivals and concert halls in Europe, Australia and North America. Scott was recently named one of fifty United States Artists fellows for 2008, and his recording with the Ensemble of his Vikings of the Sunrise was cited in Gramophone Magazine as one of “…50 recordings that are among the finest ever made…”

Scott was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1944 to parents trained in the sciences who were also talented amateur musicians. Early study of music included tutoring in recorder in Bristol, England, clarinet and saxophone in elementary and secondary school bands, and private study and transcription of recordings by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson and John Coltrane in high school. Formal training in composition was at the University of Oregon with Homer Keller and at Brown University with Gerald Shapiro and Paul Nelson, with field studies in African musics undertaken in Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in 1970. In Ghana Scott met and studied informally with Steve Reich; later he collaborated with Terry Riley, and these two composers became his most significant influences outside jazz. Scott is professor of music at Colorado College. He has served on the faculty of The Evergreen State College and as visiting composer at Eastman School of Music, Aspen Music School, New England Conservatory, Princeton University, University of Southern California, and at festivals and conservatories in Germany, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ireland, Norway, England, Canary Islands and Australia. Awards include a Barlow Endowment Commission, a grant from the Peter S. Reed Foundation, the New England Conservatory/Rockefeller Foundation Chamber Music Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Composer's Fellowship. Scott is listed in New Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and his work is discussed in several books on twentieth-century music, including the new Cambridge History of American Music. Segments of his Vikings of the Sunrise were used in a recent NBC prime-time special and his Arcs is part of the DVD soundtrack for the popular film "Traffic." The Tears of Niobe represented the United States at the 1991 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.

In 1977 Scott founded the Bowed Piano Ensemble, which has toured and broadcast widely in the United States, Europe and Australia. Major performances have been given at Sydney Opera House, Melba Hall (Melbourne), Almeida Opera Festival (London), New Music America Los Angeles, Cabrillo Festival, Town Hall, Merkin Hall and World Financial Center (New York), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), NYYD Festival (Tallinn/Tartu), Theater Artaud (San Francisco), Musica Ficta Festival (Vilnius), Festival de Musica Visual (Lanzarote, Canary Islands), Freunde Guter Musik and MaerzMusik (Berlin), ppIANISSIMO Festival (Sofia) and Sionna Festival (Limerick). The Ensemble records for New Albion Records, and their televised performances have been seen on network broadcasts in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Spain and Estonia, and at the MIP Video Festival in Cannes.

The Ensemble's Spring 2013 tour included concerts in London, Italy, and Malta.

To link to Stephen Scott's recordings, go to



    B.A., University of Oregon, 1967

    M.A., Brown University, 1969