Top of page

Jeff Scott, composer

Worthwhile Diversions

Share this post:

The Zéphyros Winds will be joined by Audrey Andrist tomorrow (June 15, 2024) in a concert of mid-century works featuring the music of Irving Fine, whose collection resides at the Library of Congress. As an advocate of the wind quintet medium, I am particularly excited that this program will include the premiere of a new transcription for wind quintet of Irving Fine’s “Diversions,” of which he made two versions: one for piano and one for orchestra. This new transcription was crafted by the wonderful composer and horn player Jeff Scott, who will be joining us for the event.

I asked Jeff a few questions about his work:

DP: David Plylar; JS: Jeff Scott

DP: What has been your experience with Irving Fine’s wind quintet music?
JS: I’ve performed Fine’s “Partita” and “Romanza” several times as a member of Imani Winds.

DP: As a composer, arranger and horn player, what are some of the considerations that go into making a transcription for wind quintet?
JS: I tried to stay true to the original score as much as possible but also I had a ton of fun recreating the beauty of the score with only five wind instruments as a palette.

DP: You were commissioned by the Verna and Irving Fine Endowment in the Library of Congress to create a wind quintet version of Fine’s “Diversions.” Were there any particularly challenging elements of the piece that were tricky to translate into the new medium?
JS: So much of Fine’s wit and charm was scored in the string section. It was particularly challenging to maintain that charm and without the strings.

DP: You were the horn player with the exceptional Imani Winds for many years, and you championed new music throughout your time with them. Do you have any advice for aspiring composers/transcribers who want to write for the wind quintet?
JS: Yes, the best wind quintet scores celebrate the uniqueness of the five instruments. While the more experienced ensembles can play homogeneously, the color and timbre differences are what make a wind quintet special. When scoring, explore the ranges and look for unique combinations.

At the concert, you will be able to hear Audrey Andrist play the piano version of “Diversions” first, and then Jeff Scott’s new transcription for wind quintet. It promises to be an illuminating experience! Here is further information about the concert and its program:

Saturday, June 15, 8 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium: Zephyros Winds with Audrey Andrist, Piano
6:30pm: Conversation with the Artists, Whittall Pavilion

The Zéphyros Winds are joined by pianist Audrey Andrist in this special program that includes a newly commissioned wind quintet transcription of an Irving Fine work, written by Jeff Scott. The program also includes Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Suite for wind Quintet and a transcription of Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. Join for a pre-concert conversation with the Artists at 6:30 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion. This concert was made possible with the generous support of the Verna and Irving Fine Endowment in the Library of Congress.


Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) / Don Stewart
Overture to Candide (1956), transcribed for wind quintet

Arthur Berger (1912-2003)
Quartet for Winds in C major (1941)

Irving Fine (1914-1962)
Partita (1948)

Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)
Troubled Water (pub. 1967, composed by 1962)

Irving Fine
Diversions (1959-60), version for solo piano

Irving Fine / Jeff Scott (b. 1967)
Diversions (1959-60), transcribed for wind quintet (2024)
(World premiere)

Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953)
Suite for Wind Quintet (1952)

Leo Smit (1900-1943)
Sextuor for wind quintet and piano (1933)

Free, registration required. Find more information here

More about Jeff Scott:

A native of Queens, New York, Jeff Scott started the French horn at age 14, receiving an anonymous gift scholarship to begin his private study and formal introduction to music theory with the Brooklyn College Preparatory Division. An even greater gift came from his first private teacher Carolyn Clark, who taught the young Scott for free during his high school years, giving him the opportunity to study music when resources were not available.

Since receiving degrees from Manhattan School of Music, ’90 and SUNY at Stony Brook, ’92, Scott has enjoyed a performance career as a studio, chamber and orchestral musician, performing in Broadway shows, ballet companies, touring with various commercial artists as well as recording for film, classical music, pop music and jazz music.

Scott’s composing credits include original works for symphonic and chamber orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles and solo works for winds, brass, strings and voice.  In 2021 Scott, a founding member of the internationally acclaimed wind quintet “Imani Winds,” retired after 24 groundbreaking years of touring and recording and pedagogy.  The quintet was honored with a permanent installation at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2017. After four years as Associate Professor of Horn at Oberlin College and Conservatory, Scott will join the faculty of University @ Buffalo as Professor of Music in the Fall of 2024.

See below for more information about the remaining events for this season of Concerts from the Library of Congress, along with some bonus summer events that you can experience with us while waiting for the start of next season, which will be announced in the next few months. We have so much planned that the series will start in September of 2024!

Thursday, June 20, 5 p.m.: Screening of “Take Me to the River: New Orleans,” 5 p.m.
“Take Me to the River New Orleans” celebrates the rich musical history, heritage, legacy, and influence of New Orleans and Louisiana. The film pairs legacy musicians with present-day stars, demonstrating the enduring legacy of New Orleans’ music scene.

Free, registration required. Find more information here

Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m.: Live! At the Library: Cha Wa
Cha Wa’s concert promises an unforgettable fusion of New Orleans brass band traditions, Mardi Gras Indian culture, and contemporary funk to honor Juneteenth.

Free, registration required. Find more information here

Bonus Summer Events!

Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 6:00 pm
Live! At the Library: Bachata Class and Social with Orlando Machuca and Estefany. Music by DJ Hercules
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
Great Hall, Mezzanine

Unleash your inner dancer! Join us for a bachata class on the mezzanine of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Learn fun moves of this captivating Latin dance with instructors Orlando Machuca and Estefany. No partner? No problem! This beginner-friendly class is perfect for anyone who wants to move and groove to the rhythm of bachata.

DJ music will start at 6:00 pm and bachata class will start at 6:30 pm. Demonstration and social promptly following class.
Find more information here

Thursday, August 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm
Live! At the Library: Panquility, Steelpan Band
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
Southeast Lawn

Escape to the Caribbean without leaving D.C.! Immerse yourself in the vibrant sounds of steelpan with Panquility Band. They will perform joyful melodies and rhythms on the Southeast lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building, transporting you to the islands with every note. Bring the whole family for an evening of fun in the sun.
Find more information here

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *