Quiet City

From Wind Repertory Project
Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (arr. Donald Hunsberger)

General Info

Year: 1941 / 1992
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: IV (solo); III (ensemble) (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Trumpet and Orchestra
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00   |   Score Only - $12.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Alto Flute
Solo Oboe
Solo English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contra Bassoon
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Solo B-flat Soprano Saxophone
B-flat Solo Trumpet
Flugelhorn I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Quiet City (1940) was originally intended as incidental music to a short-running play by Irwin Shaw. The play told the story of two brothers, one of whom rejected his heritage in an effort to conform to the business world, while the other maintained an unconventional, artistic, socially conscious lifestyle. In the score, the prominent trumpet part embodies one of the brothers wandering about the city at night, imagining the thoughts of the people around him.

- Program note from San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 12 May 2012

Quiet City is a well-known composition for trumpet, cor anglais, and string orchestra by Aaron Copland. In 1940, Copland wrote incidental music for the play Quiet City by Irwin Shaw. The next year he knitted some of it into a ten-minute composition designed to be performed independently of the play. The piece was premiered on January 28, 1941, by conductor Daniel Saidenberg and his Saidenberg Little Symphony in New York City.

According to Copland, the piece was "an attempt to mirror the troubled main character of Irwin Shaw's play", who had abandoned his Jewishness and his poetic aspirations in order to pursue material success by Anglicizing his name, marrying a rich socialite, and becoming the president of a department store. The man, however, was continually recalled to his conscience by the haunting sound of his brother's trumpet playing. Continuing the assessment in his own autobiography, Copland observed that "Quiet City seems to have become a musical entity, superseding the original reasons for its composition," owing much of its success to its escape from the details of its dramatic context.

- Program note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kansas City (Mo.) Wind Symphony (Langston Hemenway, conductor; Austin Wakat, trumpet; Anne Sneller, English horn) - 19 November 2023
  • DePaul University (Chicago, Ill.) Wind Symphony (Eric Neidlinger, conductor; Hamed Barbarji, trumpet; Koko Tamai, English horn) - 5 May 2023
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Travis J. Cross, conductor; Jens Lindemann, trumpet; Jonathan Davis, English horn) – 10 March 2020
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor; Michael Martin, trumpet; Andrew Parker, English horn) – 27 October 2019
  • California State University, Stanislaus, Wind Ensemble (Stuart Sims, conductor) – 9 May 2019
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Bryan P. Sherlock, conductor; Joseph DeLuccio, English horn; Kurt Dupuis, trumpet) – 13 January 2019
  • State University of New York Oswego Wind Ensemble (Trevor Jorgensen, conductor; Dan Knowlton, trumpet; Gwen Healy, English horn) – 16 November 2018
  • Southern Indiana (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Jason H. Nam, conductor; Edmund Cord, trumpet & Kathleen Carter Bell, English horn) – 5 November 2018
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 31 October 2018
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside Wind Ensemble (Laura Rexroth, conductor; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Suzanne Geoffrey, English horn) - 26 April 2018
  • Georgia (Atlanta) Institute of Technology Symphonic Band (Benjamin Diden, conductor; Nicholas Button, trumpet; Kevin Caruso, English horn) – 19 November 2017
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor; Stephen Campbell, trumpet) – 29 September 2017
  • Seattle Pacific University, Wind Ensemble (Danny Helseth, conductor; Brian Chin trumpet; Linnea Wentworth, English horn) - 19 May 2017
  • Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) Wind Symphony (Brian O. Walden, conductor; Martin Saunders, trumpet; Eric Caines, English horn) - 12 October 2016
  • Bixby (Okla.) High School Wind Ensemble (Jeremy W. Parker, conductor; Ben Hay, trumpet; Brent Baldwin, soprano saxophone) - 28 February 2016 (Lorton Performance Center, University of Tulsa)
  • Ohlone Wind Orchestra (Fremont, Calif.) (Tony Clements, conductor) - 22 March 2015
  • West Virginia State University (Institute) Wind Ensemble (Scott E. Woodard, conductor) – 4 December 2012
  • San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (Keith Waibel, conductor; Jessica Hoffman, English horn; Christopher Woodruff, trumpet) - 12 May 2012
  • Woodlands Concert Band [Montgomery County, Texas (Paul Worosello, conductor)] - October 2011
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 1 October 2006

Works for Winds by This Composer