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Tuba Concerto (Williams)

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John Williams

John Williams (arr. Paul Lavender)

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General Info

Year: 1985 / 2013
Duration: c. 19:10
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Tuba and orchestra
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. Allegro moderato 7:10
2. Andante – 7:25
3. Allegro molto 4:30


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

To celebrate the centenary of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1985, Williams was commissioned to compose the Tuba Concerto, dedicated to Chester Schmitz, the group’s solo tuba player. Premièred in May of that year with Williams on the podium, the concerto highlights the technical and tonal ranges of both the tuba and its performer. A fragment from the Superman theme can be heard in the first movement. In the words of soloist Simon Wildman, “I’ve always thought this concerto was like a long Superman étude. The writing really seems to suggest flying, action punches, and soul-searching at the fortress of solitude.”

Williams has written about his concerto:

I really don’t know why I wrote it—just urge and instinct. I’ve always liked the tuba and even used to play it a little. I wrote a big tuba solo for a Dick Van Dyke movie called Fitzwilly, and ever since I’ve kept composing for it—it’s such an agile instrument, like a huge cornet. I’ve also put passages in for some of my pets in the orchestra—solos for the flute and English horn, for the horn quartet and a trio of trumpets. It’s light and tuneful and I hope it has enough events in it to make it fun.

- Program Note from United States Marine Band concert program, 16 August 2018

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Bryan P. Sherlock, conductor; Simon Wildman, tuba) - 16 August 2018
  • Boston University Wind Ensemble (David J. Martins, conductor) – 20 November 2013 *Premiere Performance of Wind Ensemble Version*

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.