With recent performances in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, Scott Speck has inspired international acclaim as a conductor of passion, intelligence and winning personality.
Scott Speck's recent concerts with the Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky Hall garnered unanimous praise. His gala performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Evelyn Glennie and Olga Kern have highlighted his recent and current seasons as Music Director of the Mobile Symphony. This season he also collaborates intensively with Carnegie Hall for the seventh time as Music Director of the West Michigan Symphony. He was recently named Music Director of the Joffrey Ballet; and he was invited to the White House as Music Director of the Washington Ballet.
In recent seasons Scott Speck has conducted numerous performances in London's Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Washington's Kennedy Center, San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, and the Los Angeles Music Center. He has led numerous performances with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Chicago (Sinfonietta), Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Vancouver, Romania, Slovakia, Buffalo, Columbus (OH), Honolulu, Louisville, New Orleans, Oregon, Rochester, Florida, and Virginia, among many others.
Previously he held positions as Conductor of the San Francisco Ballet; Music Advisor and Conductor of the Honolulu Symphony; and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. During a recent tour of Asia he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing.
In addition, Scott Speck the co-author of two of the world's best-selling books on classical music for a popular audience, Classical Music for Dummies and Opera for Dummies. These books have received stellar reviews in both the national and international press and have garnered enthusiastic endorsements from major American orchestras. They have been translated into twenty languages and are available around the world. His third book in the series, Ballet for Dummies, is now available as well.
Scott Speck has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of Russia, broadcast throughout the world. His writing has been featured in numerous magazines and journals.
Born in Boston, Scott Speck graduated summa cum laude from Yale University. There he founded and directed the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, which continues to perform to this day. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin, where he founded Concerto Grosso Berlin, an orchestra dedicated to the performances of Baroque and Classical music in a historically informed style. He received his Master's Degree with highest honors from the University of Southern California, served as a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen School of Music, and studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. He is fluent in English, German and French, has a diploma in Italian, speaks Spanish and has a reading knowledge of Russian.
"Scott Speck is a great communicator of classical music. He exudes his passion for music in every gesture and every word."
— David Styers, American Symphony Orchestra League
REVIEWS AND QUOTES:
"There was first-rate playing from the Washington Ballet Orchestra. Scott Speck paced the score to perfection…"
"Elliot Goldenthal's lushly burnished score (with echoes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, plus subtle riffs of jazz) is vividly played by the Chicago Sinfonietta, led by Scott Speck."
"Scott Speck's sensuous and exciting interpretation took the audience by storm. His sure, free and expressive style of conducting electrified and swept away the Russian musicians. The sophisticated Moscow public, which has heard many masterful interpretations of [Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and Piano Concerto no. 1], was extremely generous with long and enthusiastic applause… another small but illustrative detail, which did not go unnoticed by the audience: Speck never opened the score of the music in front of him."
"Scott Speck and the orchestra gave another sizzling reading during performances last week at the War Memorial Opera House."
"The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, in resplendent form under the direction of Scott Speck, alone would be worth a trip to the Opera House. Speck's conducting was masterful — magical in its balance of purely musical and extramusical values."
"Maestro Speck is as energetic as he is talented."
"Scott Speck is a buoyant, expressive young conductor with a charismatic personality that leaps over the footlights. The young maestro brings the listener to the level of the music, not the reverse."
"SYMPHONY WOWS AUDIENCE…Scott Speck and the orchestra gave an exquisite, beautifully sculpted performance that brought the piece to glorious life."
"The absolute highlight of this concert was Speck's conducting. Speck, not using any score, kept the orchestra totally under his formidable control. This performance must be rated among the best I have ever heard."
"Speck is doing for our orchestra what Leonard Slatkin did for St. Louis: bringing living American music to the forefront of his programming. Not only does he have the courage to program the music, he also has the ability to induce the orchestra to play that music with conviction. "The improvement since Scott Speck took over is nothing short of phenomenal. The strings sounded better than they have in 20 years, and the brass playing was probably the best ever heard from this orchestra."
"Scott Speck is a consummate musician with a natural musical gift. His ears are among the finest I have ever encountered — a factor that is critical in building a great orchestra."
"Scott Speck is a great artist and musician. He has a rare combination — even for a very high class conductor — of sensitive interest in the interpretation of the soloist and his own extraordinary musical creativity. I have never met such a responsive and sensitive conductor; he created the performance of my dreams."
"Scott Speck is the most enthusiastic conductor I have ever worked with. He is extremely well-prepared and has outstanding interactive skills with audience and orchestra alike. With Scott Speck, we always get 200 percent."
"Scott Speck's popularity at the Honolulu Symphony is phenomenal! Even conducting sixty concerts a year, his performances remain fresh and exciting, eliciting a consistently enthusiastic response from the players and the public."
"The positive feedback from the orchestra and the public has been overwhelming! Scott Speck's ability to establish an instant rapport in a concert hall of 3,000 people is truly amazing. He seems to have an instinctive communication link with his audience."
"Scott Speck was a great find. He delivered polished performances of three different programs with an absolute minimum of rehearsal time. His rapport with the orchestra and the audience was outstanding. The players commented on his thorough preparation and well-run rehearsals. We look forward to working again with Scott Speck."
"Scott Speck's concert with the Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestra was a huge success. So much so that we have immediately re-engaged him for next season. The ease with which he negotiated a complex program with the orchestra and audience was amazing. He has a refreshing demeanor, outstanding musicality and superior baton technique. A very rewarding experience for all."
"It was a great pleasure working with Scott Speck…. he was enthusiastically received by both the musicians and the audience, and led especially effective performances. We look forward to having him back."
"Scott Speck is a great communicator of classical music, both as a conductor and as an eloquent spokesman. He exudes his passion for music in every gesture and every word."