Scott Good – Biography
Scott Good is a composer, conductor, concert designer and trombonist whose music is driven by the desire to create beauty, evoke emotion, and play with groove. With a belief in the power of art to enable cathartic events, he has worked with a rich community of musicians, orchestras, ensembles, choreographers, actors, and artists to create intense, meaningful live performance experiences.
Inspired by the themes of the universal human condition, his lush oratorio The Sleepers
contemplates the unity and equality of all humanity, whereas Babbitt, a raucous saxophone concerto, hailed by the The Vancouver Observer as “luminous, virtuosic, gleaming music”, is inspired by a mid-life crisis. From global extinction cataclysm in his Kurt Vonnegut-inspired jazz orchestra work Galapagos, to a boiling stew in his overture What the Chickpea Said to the Cook, Scott finds inspiration to create compelling works from all walks and perspectives.
As a composer whose music has been described to be “a kind of majestic bestial reality” (Globe and Mail), “gloriously cacophonic” (Ottawa Citizen), “sumptuously orchetrated” (Montreal Gazzette), and “dynamic, vivid” (Winnipeg Free Press), Scott Good has been commissioned by orchestras across Canada including Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, and the Esprit Orchestra. Major works include his orchestral score for the 1926 silent film The Hands of Orlac (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony 2015), his multimedia family concert The Caboose Who Got Loose with solo cello, narration, and projections (Calgary Philharmonic 2022), and his acclaimed trumpet concerto, Between the Rooms “a riotous, percussive bacchanal” (For the Record) with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2007. Upcoming projects for orchestra include the Lasker-Schüler Songs for rising star soprano Midori Marsh and London Symphonia (2024), violin concerto Yin-Yang for Bénédicte Lauzière and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (2026), and a new 2.5 hr score for large orchestra and chorus to the epic silent film classic Metropolis with the Kingston Symphony, celebrating the film’s 100th anniversary (2027).
As Composer-in-Residence with the Vancouver Symphony (2008-2011) and London Symphonia (2015-present), he has composed numerous orchestral works and orchestral arrangements. Good’s role has evolved over time to include artistic direction, where he meshes his conducting skills with his knowledge as a composer and arranger to design and produce innovative concerts. These programs focus on modern compositions and hybrid genre music that imbue a widely inclusive atmosphere for our culturally diverse communities. Events of interest include Belonging, a concert of Arabic songs and classical Western compositions with poet/activist Najwa Zebian and songwriter Maryem Toller; In Remembrance, combining classical music with contemporary and traditional songs to reflect the deep, conflicted emotions around the topic of war and sacrifice; and Tapestry, a collaboration with The Light of East Ensemble exploring the music of the East Mediterranean. His aim with these diverse programs is to create bridges and connections revealing our common humanity through music. He is currently collaborating with R&B quartet The McAuley Boys to create a mixed program of pop-infused arrangements alongside classical masterpieces for a winter season spectacular with orchestra and choir.
Good has an extensive catalog of chamber music compositions and has created works for ensembles such as I Furiosi, and the Madawaska String Quartet, organizations such as InnerChamber and the World Harp Congress, and soloists including trombonist Alain Trudel, and electric guitarist TIm Brady. He has composed test pieces for the Montreal International Music Competition, the Canadian Music Competition, and written for education institutions such as the Glenn Gould School and NACO Young Artists program. He has composed several pieces for children as part of Chamber Factory’s Listen Up! program and served as a mentor in Esprit Orchestra’s Creative Sparks high school program. Current chamber projects include music direction and arranging for the Lonely Child Project, a contemporary music/contemporary circus hybrid theatrical work in collaboration with multi-hyphenate artist Stacie Dunlop and contemporary circus artists Angola Murdoch and Holly Treddenick, with the music of Claude Vivier (2017-present), and the creation of a new score for the silent film masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc for a 12-part ensemble of singers and baroque instruments for Ensemble Caprice (2025).
Scott Good’s passion for jazz and improvised music can be heard throughout his compositions, especially in hybrid projects with jazz artists and musicians from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Highlights include two major works for the Hard Rubber Jazz Orchestra, Concerto for Cello composed for Jeffrey Zeigler, and Concerto for Improvisor featuring Scott as composer, conductor, and soloist, the concert length crossover project Conjunction, revered as “one of the most fascinating concerts I’ve heard this year” by the Ottawa Jazz Scene, with the Gryphon Trio, jazz bassist Roberto Occhipinti and American-Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto, including arrangements and original composition Wu Xing (2018), and his 10-part tribute to author Kurt Vonnegut Vonnegut and the Slaughterhouse Orchestra co-written with singer-songwriter Dwight Schenk for rock band and chamber orchestra.
His deep love for the orchestra and the classical tradition can be traced his experience performing Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony with the North Toronto Collegiate Symphony Orchestra. “To be inside such energy and counterpoint!” Scott obtained a combined degree in composition and trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music (1991-1995), with his first work for orchestra – Rhapsody – written as an undergraduate, winning the Howard Hanson Award (1994), and later winning 1st place in the Winnipeg Symphony Composer’s Competition (1995), launching his career as an orchestral composer. Scott completed his composition training at the University of Toronto, receiving his MM in 1998 under Chan Ka Nin, and his DM in 2007 under Gary Kulesha.
He worked as a classical trombonist until 2008, performing with many orchestras and chamber ensembles in Southern Ontario. He was also deeply immersed in contemporary music, performing with such groups as New Music Concerts and Array. Other performances include the premiere of R.Murray Schafer’s The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix, and touring with Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal (ECM+) across Canada as soloist in his own modernist rock infused work Shock Therapy Variations. Since 2008, his trombone playing centers on jazz and improvised music.
Scott lives in London Ontario with his wife Jennifer Schofield and two children Alex and Nick.
© 2014, Scott Good.