Scott Weiss is the newly-appointed Director of Orchestras at the University of South Carolina where he has served as the Sarah Bolick Smith Professor of Music and conductor of the USC Wind Ensemble since 2010. Under his direction, the USC Wind Ensemble has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s leading university wind ensembles. Highlights include winning the American Prize in 2014, releasing three critically-acclaimed CD’s on the Naxos and Summit Records labels, and performing at several major music conferences around the country. The ensemble also toured China in 2012, performing a series of standing-room-only concerts in six cities, including a concert at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts that was televised live throughout China.
Weiss maintains an active international conducting schedule, including recent concerts in China with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Nanchang Philharmonic, the Shandong Symphony Orchestra, and the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra. His upcoming schedule includes return engagements with the Inner-Mongolia and Hunan Symphony Orchestras, as well as his debut with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.
A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Weiss has commissioned and premiered over 40 new works, and performances under his direction have won the praise of such notable composers as Jennifer Higdon, Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, and many others. He has recorded several CD’s of American music on the Naxos and Summit labels, including a 2013 release on the Naxos label featuring music by Leonard Bernstein. Hailed by critics as “scintillating,” and “fresh and spontaneous,” of this disc Barry Kilpatrick of American Record Guide proclaimed, “There are simply too many great moments to mention.”
Dr. Weiss’s graduate conducting studio at the University of South Carolina is an international draw for talented young conductors. Former conducting students of his hold major conducting and academic positions throughout the world. He has also been the lead teacher at numerous conducting symposia, and in July 2018 he will be the featured clinician at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop Institute.
Scott Weiss is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading music schools around the world, including the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the University of Western Australia. A strong supporter of public school music education, he has conducted all-state ensembles and adjudicated music festivals throughout North America, Asia, and Australia.
Dr. Weiss earned an undergraduate degree in trumpet performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and both a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Illinois where he studied orchestral conducting with Donald Schleicher and wind conducting with James Keene. Prior to his tenure at the University of South Carolina, he served on the conducting faculties of the University of Kansas, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Lamar University (TX), and Emory University.
Scott and his wife, Teah, reside in Columbia and are the proud parents of their son, John, a freshman in the Honors College at USC. In addition to conducting and teaching, Scott enjoys traveling, surfing, and playing golf.