Frankel began his music education taking piano lessons with Betty Belkin in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Interlochen Arts Camp and graduated from Yale University in 1985, when he was inducted into the Skull and Bones secret society. While at Yale he met playwright Doug Wright.
Frankel worked as a music director, conductor and pianist, on Broadway shows including Into the Woods, Les Misérables, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Rags (1986, rehearsal pianist) and Falsettos, and also Off-Broadway on Putting It Together starring Julie Andrews.
He then became a musical theatre composer, notably through collaborations with lyricist/librettist Michael Korie.
Their musical Doll was workshoped at the University of Houston as part of Stuart Ostrow's Musical Theatre Lab in 1995. A professional production premiered in Ravinia Festival in a staged reading in 2003, and was further developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, White Oak, Florida in December 2005.
Their musical Grey Gardens premiered Off-Broadway in 2006, and transferred to Broadway. For Grey Gardens, Frankel received a Tony Award nomination, as well as the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and The Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition.
In 2012, their musical Far from Heaven, starring Kelli O’Hara, premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The show, adapted from the film by Todd Haynes, subsequently received a production at Playwrights Horizons in 2013.
Most recently, Frankel and Korie wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for the musical War Paint, about Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. The musical, with the book by Doug Wright and directed by Michael Greif, premiered at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, in the summer of 2016 with stars Patti Lupone as Helena Rubinstein and Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden. The musical is based on the 2003 book by Lindy Woodhead and on the 2007 documentary The Powder and the Glory by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman. The production transferred to Broadway and opened on April 6, 2017.
- Doll - 2003 - Lyrics/Libretto by Michael Korie
- Grey Gardens - 2006 - Lyrics by Michael Korie, Book by Doug Wright
- Happiness - 2009 - Lyrics by Michael Korie, Book by John Weidman
- Meet Mister Future - 2006 - Lyrics/Libretto by Michael Korie
- Far from Heaven - 2013 - Lyrics by Michael Korie; book by Richard Greenberg
- War Paint - 2016 - Lyrics by Michael Korie, Book by Doug Wright
- "Scott Frankel Credits" playbillvault.com, accessed April 26, 2015
- " 'Rags' Production" ibdb.com, accessed April 26, 2015
- "Scott Frankel Credits" lct.org, accessed April 26, 2015
- Jones. Kenneth. "Frankel and Korie's Musical 'Doll' and The Civilians' 'Nobody's Lunch'Invited to 2005 Sundance Lab in Florida" playbill.com, October 25, 2005
- Jones, Kenneth. "Scott Frankel Will Conduct 'Grey Gardens' July 18" playbill.com, July 16, 2007
- "Subways Are for Singing: Korie & Frankel's 'Happiness Opens Off-Broadway' March 30" playbill.com, March 30, 2009
- War Paint, goodmantheatre, accessed June 7, 2016
- Cox, Gordon. "Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole to Star in New Musical by ‘Grey Gardens’ Team" Variety, November 12, 2015
- Coleman, David. "Jim Joseph and Scott Frankel's Historic Livingston, New York, House" Architectural Digest"", January 31, 2014