Scott Conklin


Commended by The Strad for “brilliance of tone and charismatic delivery,” Dr. Scott Conklin regularly appears internationally as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. Conklin is Professor of Violin at the University of Iowa School of Music and a violin teacher at the Preucil School of Music. He has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Louisville, Nashville, and Berlin Symphony Orchestras. Conklin is a recipient of the Iowa String Teachers Association Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year Award and his students have held professional appointments or have come from Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Conklin has been a featured artist-teacher at the conferences of the Music Teachers National Association and Suzuki Association of the Americas as well as a presenter at the American String Teachers Association Conference. In the summertime, he is a faculty member at the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, WI. Conklin has recordings on the Albany, Centaur, Chandos, Crystal, MSR Classics, and Toucan Cove Entertainment record labels as well as Alfred Music.   


As an active recording artist and performer, Dr. Conklin frequently collaborates on a variety of projects. In 2023, Centaur Records released Hans Gál: Works for Viola, Piano, Violin, and Oboe with violist Christine Rutledge, composer/pianist David Gompper, oboist Courtney Miller, and Conklin. This ensemble performed in Thailand at the 2023 Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music International Music Festival (Bangkok) and the 48th International Viola Congress (Salaya). They previously toured Scotland where they presented Hans Gàl’s music at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at Gàl’s final teaching post, the University of Edinburgh. Conklin performed on saxophonist Kennth Tse’s 2021 album The Voxman Project Kenneth (Crystal Records). In 2019, Conklin was featured on Ich Denke Dein: Songs & Chamber Works by Nikolai Medtner (Albany Records) with soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist Sasha Burdin as well as oboist Courtney Miller’s album Portuguese Perspectives: Music for Oboe, Piano, and Strings (MSR Classics). Conklin performed Carlo Taube’s music in a 2016 album Songs of the Holocaust (Albany Records) with soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist Réne Lecuona. In 2015, Albany Records released Pieces and Passages, Conklin’s solo album that features collaborative pianists Alan Huckleberry and Jason Sifford, contemporary compositions including premieres, and Conklin’s own visual artwork throughout the packaging. Fanfare Magazine said that listeners “will hardly fail to be touched by the depth of his musical penetration and the sincerity of his communication.” Conklin’s prior solo Albany Records release Violinguistics: American Voices, an album of contemporary American compositions including premieres with Huckleberry, was “urgently recommended” by Fanfare Magazine and was also the recommended album in the June 2010 issue of The Strad, which highlighted the “interpretative eloquence, extreme technical precision, and an infectious brio that makes the whole disc enjoyable.” American Record Guide said the album was “sure to please any fan of violin and piano who is looking for something new.” Conklin was violin soloist with the University of Iowa Center for New Music Ensemble and conductor David Gompper for Ching-chu Hu’s A Tempered Wish for Solo Violin and Chamber Orchestra on the 2009 album Vive Concertante! (Albany Records), where he also recorded works as a member of the ensemble. Conklin also performed as a Center for New Music Ensemble member and the direction of Dr. Gompper on the 2007 album D. Martin Jenni: A Tribute. In 2010, the Suzuki Association of the Americas released the album Celebrating Excellence 2009, which featured performances by Conklin as well as the Albers Trio, Cavani String Quartet, Rachel Barton Pine, and Orion Weiss among others. He also played on the song “Anywhere” on The Muckrakers’ 2006 album Losing Sleep (Toucan Cove Entertainment). A devoted supporter of music education, Conklin was featured on the violin masterclass DVD, Sound Innovations for String Orchestra, directed by Bob Phillips, Peter Boonschaft and Robert Sheldon. As an orchestral musician, he performed on the 2000 Chandos release Prokofiev: War and Peace with conductor Richard Hickox, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (Italia), and the Russian State Symphonic Cappella—an album listed in The Penguin Guide 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings.
In addition to performing and teaching from the heart of the standard repertoire, Dr. Conklin is both a champion of music from around the world as well as new music. Conklin has studied improvisation with cross-genre composer/artist Josh Henderson (former Grant Wood Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa and artist faculty member at NYU and the Longy School of Music) and Dr. William Menefield (Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of Iowa). Conklin contributed artwork for the album covers of Henderson’s 2023 album One More Night (Innova Records). At the University of Iowa, Conklin has performed with South Indian violinist Dr. Lalitha Muthuswamy (Director of the Muthuswamy–Subbulakshmi Academy of Global Music) and as Concertmaster for a Carnatic Fusion concert with renowned veena player Phani Narayana. He also performed with the Meitar Ensemble and conductor Pierre-André Valade in the Festival of Contemporary Music from Israel. Conklin also participated in a residency and concert with Toni Blackman (the first United States Department of State Ambassador of Hip Hop) and he collaborated with renowned erhu master Guo Gan (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, France), in a concert that featured a duet with Guo Gan and a world premiere of Ching-chu Hu’s Paper Fortunes for two violins, erhu, and piano along with violinist Wolfgang David and pianist David Gompper. Composer Dr. Ching-chu Hu (Denison University) has written a number of pieces for Conklin that he premiered, including Violin Concerto No. 4: Glaciers Red, Vistas Veiled (2020), Violin Concerto No. 3: Water Spirit (2015), The Hope Moment for Violin and Piano (2011), and A Tempered Wish for Solo Violin and Chamber Orchestra (2007). Conklin premiered Hu’s Snow Ash for Solo violin and String Orchestra (2019) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, where he soloed and served as director of the high school string orchestra at the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp. Hu’s work was created specifically for that event. Composer Dr. Joel Puckett (Peabody Institute) wrote and dedicated pieces to Conklin including Infinite Morning for Violin and Piano (2015), a four-movement violin concerto called Southern Comforts for Solo Violin, Orchestral Winds, Bass, Piano, and Percussion (2008), and the BMI award-winning composition Colloquial Threads for Violin and Piano (2003). In 2018, Conklin premiered Nicola Ferro’s Prayer for Solo Violin and Trombone Choir, a piece written in honor and memory of his father Ray, Professor Emeritus of Trombone and Low Brass at Murray State University. Conklin later performed the work with Dr. Jonathan Whitaker and his University of Alabama Trombone Choir at the 2019 American Trombone Workshop. Conklin also performs in a duo with Dr. Gregory Hand (Professor of Organ at the University of Iowa), creating transcriptions for organ and violin and finding new possibilities for the instrumentation with Hand’s leadership and vision.

Dr. Conklin holds the honorary distinction of being a “Kentucky Colonel,” a title given to him by Governor Wallace G. Wilkinson. Conklin performed for the Kentucky State Legislature and Citizens for the Arts in Frankfort, KY, and it aided in the largest increase of arts funding in state’s history, which helped launch the Governor’s School for the Arts. During his youth, Conklin was a student of Carol Dallinger, Professor Emeritus of Violin at the University of Evansville. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was a violin student of David Updegraff and studied chamber music with the Cavani String Quartet, Anne Epperson, and Peter Salaff (Cleveland Quartet). Conklin also earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Michigan, where he was a violin student of Paul Kantor. While at Michigan, he was a violin teaching assistant and a graduate student instructor under string music educator Dr. Robert Culver, and his primary chamber music coaches were Andrew Jennings (Concord String Quartet), Paul Kantor, and Martin Katz. Conklin is a former faculty member of the University of Texas at Arlington, and he has also taught on several occasions as a substitute violin professor at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music.


Research areas
  • Strings
Portrait of Scott Conklin
Contact Information

University of Iowa
5465 Voxman Music Building (VOX)
93 East Burlington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
United States