Scott Anderson, Principal Clarinet

Question & Answer

What is your favorite Hawaii Symphony Moment? ScottAnderson_HeadshotWEB

Performing on Kaua’i after Hurricane Iniki stands out to me; the island was devastated and people were very appreciative.

What was the first piece of music you fell in love with?

Respighi’s “Pines of Rome,” but not only because of the clarinet movement – more so for the very beginning, where I can imagine a bunch of exuberant children playing.

What do you think is the greatest misconception about classical music?

That it’s just one thing; so-called “classical” music spans a period of 4 or more CENTURIES and all sorts of genres (opera, ballet, symphony, choral, chamber, solo voice, etc.), yet it all gets lumped together as if it’s one narrow category of sounds.

What is your biggest hurdle faced as a musician?

Being able to maintain my discipline and dedication when the rest of life encroaches.

Other than performances with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, where can we catch you performing around town?

Well, I now live in Northfield, Minnesota, a college town just outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities area. I occasionally sub with the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as well as play with colleagues at St. Olaf College, where I teach.

Where are you originally from?



Scott Anderson (center) with HSO clarinet colleagues James Moffitt (left) and Norman Foster (right) in June 2015.

More about Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson was Principal Clarinetist of the Honolulu Symphony for over 20 years, and he continues to travel to The Islands whenever possible to perform with the Hawaii Symphony. Before joining the Honolulu Symphony in 1990, he was Principal Clarinetist of the Grand Rapids Symphony, Oakland Symphony and several summer festival orchestras, including the Carmel Bach Festival, Glimmerglass Opera and Colorado Music Festival. Scott was also a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and worked frequently as a recording studio musician during his time in L.A. He has performed as an extra or substitute musician with the San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras. In addition to his substantial orchestral performance career, he has also recorded on the CRI, Albany, Well-Tempered and Marco Polo labels and has performed as a concerto and chamber soloist at several venues across the United States and Mexico.

In 2012 Scott joined the faculty of St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has also taught at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and at Cal State Sacramento, and currently serves on the summer faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

A student of Stanley Hasty at the Eastman School and Robert Marcellus at Northwestern University, Scott also studied with Leon Russianoff, Mitchell Lurie, Rosario Mazzeo, and Franklin Cohen, among others. Chamber music coaches with whom he has worked extensively include Jan DeGaetani, Robert Levin, Ray Still, John Mack, and Julius Levine.

In addition to clarinet, Scott studied ethnomusicology at UH Manoa.