Scott Pender (b. 1959) has called the phonograph his first music teacher. He cites his parents’ “extensive, eclectic record collection” as a primary early influence. As a child, he began making up tunes at the piano and taught himself to read music. Formal study in piano and theory as a teenager led to his enrollment at Peabody Conservatory, where he began composition studies with Jean Ivey. He holds degrees in philosophy from Georgetown University and music composition from Peabody Conservatory.

He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study in the United Kingdom with the English composer Gavin Bryars. In addition to a MacDowell Colony residency and the Fulbright Fellowship, he has received honors and grants from the Virginia Arts Festival John Duffy Composers Institute, the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the American Music Center, ASCAP, BMI, Meet the Composer, the Southeastern Composers’ League, The Phi Beta Kappa Society, and others.

Pender has written a wide variety of music, including work for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble (acoustic and electronic), solo voice, piano, organ, and music for theater, stage, and dance. He is the composer of theme music for the C-SPAN series First Ladies: Influence & Image. His work has been performed throughout the United States and Europe to critical acclaim: “a good ear for melody and a keen sense for the dramatic” (the Washington Post); “natural expression, remarkable emotional range and flawless compositional technique” (the Columbia Flier); and “original, contemporary music of considerable grandeur and mystery” (the Washington Times). Recent recordings include 88+12, a full album of chamber music from Navona Records (NV5968), and Foothills for string orchestra & piano from Petworth Music (PM1401). His sextet In the Time Before was released in 2012 on the Navona Records album Lock & Key.

Commissions include: Foothills (North Georgia Chamber Symphony), Songs from Terezín (Annapolis Brass Quintet & Morgan State University), Music for Oedipus the King (Avalanche Theater Company), Solemn Overture (Annapolis Symphony Orchestra), Toccatina for four flutes (Powell Quartet), Vespers (the Jesuit Music Project), and TANGO: Ms. Jackson Dances for the World  (Yvar Mikhashoff). Scott Pender’s music is published by Petworth Music (BMI).

A native of Florida, he has made Washington, D.C. his home for more than 35 years.

Albums

Music for Woodwinds

Release Date: November 10, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6127
21st Century
Chamber
Piano
Wind Ensemble
Navona Records proudly presents MUSIC FOR WOODWINDS from composer Scott Pender, his fourth appearance on the label. On this album, Pender showcases his chamber works for woodwinds from the last thirty years in ensemble combinations both common and unfamiliar.
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88+12

Release Date: September 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5968
21st Century
Chamber
Piano
String Quartet
Violin
With a distinctly contemporary compositional signature that draws on minimalism and popular music of the late 20th century, and also recalls the 19th-century Romantic tradition, composer and pianist Scott Pender explores the expressive natures of four instruments - piano, violin, viola, and cello - on his debut solo release on Navona Records, 88+12.
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In The Key of C-Span

Release Date: March 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5945
Classical
Chamber
Orchestral
Orchestra
Piano
THE KEY OF C-SPAN, Vol. 1 is the premiere release of the digital music collections featuring works from PARMA Recordings' audio catalog which have been used in C-SPAN's programming. PARMA and C-SPAN's collaborative relationship stems back to January 2013, when the two companies teamed up on C-SPAN series First Ladies: Influence & Image, for which PARMA produced a customized theme song. In May 2013, PARMA signed on as C-SPAN's music provider, placing content from its audio catalog across the network's original programming, promotions, and Senate quorum calls.
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Lock & Key

Release Date: September 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5881
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Flute
Piano
Violin
LOCK AND KEY opens the door to discover harmonious, melodic chamber works tied together by a shared understanding of the most treasured aspects of humanity. Through diverse experiences and impressionism, each composer highlights that which makes us human but is all too easy to hide away. Navona presents these works together as a reminder that inspiration can be found through appreciating the beauty of nature, the thrill of a first kiss, lighthearted fun on a night out, or simply by being alive.
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