Meet our Music Director & Conductor


Dr. Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the Director of Orchestras and Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the UofSC Symphony Orchestra and leads the master’s and doctoral programs in orchestral conducting. Born in Monterey, California in 1967, he holds an undergraduate degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and both a master’s and a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois, where he studied conducting with Maestro Donald Schleicher. Prior to his tenure at the University of South Carolina, Scott held conducting posts at the University of Kansas and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Dr. Weiss maintains an active international conducting schedule, including recent concerts with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Nanchang Philharmonic, the Shandong Symphony Orchestra, and the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra. Soloists he has recently collaborated with include violinists Elena Urioste and Angelo Xiang Yu, cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist John O’Conor, soprano Kelly Cae Hogan, tenor Kevin Vortman, and the Turtle Island String Quartet.

Scott has several critically-acclaimed recordings on the Naxos Records and Summit Records labels. His latest release is the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Reliable Sources, released on the Cantaloupe Music label in October 2021. The piece is one of dozens of new works that Scott has commissioned from many of today’s leading composers, including Samuel Adler, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, Cindy McTee, and Joseph Schwanter.

Dr. Weiss is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading conservatoires and music schools around the world, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the University of Western Australia. Each summer he teaches alongside British conductor Neil Thomson at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop and Competition.

Dr. Weiss’ conducting studio at the University of South Carolina is an international draw for aspiring professional conductors, and graduates of his program hold major conducting positions around the world. Former students include the winner of the 2019 Lipinsky International Conducting Competition in Poland, the winner of the 2018 Bucharest Music Institute International Conducting Competition, and the winner of the 2016 Danube International Conducting Competition in Budapest.

Scott and his wife, Teah, reside in Columbia and are the proud parents of John, a senior chemical engineering major in the Honors College at UofSC. Scott and Teah are intrepid travelers and enjoy hiking, surfing, and yoga.

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