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Topic: Tribute to a great musician

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  1. #1

    Tribute to a great musician

    Friends, it was my distinct honor to have this man as my teacher even though I was not a music major. My association with him continues, as a board member of the Harvey Phillips Foundation.
    Those of you who are brass players will certainly know this name.
    It is such a pleasure to see a great musician and champion for the tuba get the recognition he deserves--while he is still around to receive the accolades

    ===============================================

    Harvey Phillips, the "Paganini of the tuba," honored by Classical Music Hall of Fame



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Nov. 29, 2007
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Harvey Phillips, tuba virtuoso and distinguished professor emeritus at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has added another honor to one of the most remarkable careers in modern American musical history. He has become the first brass player chosen for induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.
    Other 2007 inductees to the Cincinnati, Ohio-based Hall of Fame are Yo-Yo Ma, Donald Martino and the Cleveland Orchestra. The time and location for the induction ceremony have not yet been announced.

    Harvey Phillips


    "I was knocked out. I hadn't expected anything like that," Phillips said this week. He said he couldn't have dreamed of the career ahead of him when he began playing the sousaphone, the marching-band version of the tuba, as a high school student more than 60 years ago. "I never gave it a second thought," he said. "I just kept putting one foot in front of another and going through life."
    Phillips, 77, has been called "the Paganini of the tuba," "a legend among brass players and other instrumentalists" and "unquestionably the best known tuba player in the world, in classical and jazz, or another other music." He also transformed the repertoire for the instrument, commissioning more than 200 works for tuba and inspiring composers to write serious music for solo tuba.
    He becomes the second Jacobs School faculty member to be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, now the Arthur R. Metz Foundation Conductor at Indiana University, was inducted to the Hall in 2002.
    "The news that IU Distinguished Professor Emeritus Harvey Phillips has been chosen as the first brass player to be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame comes as no surprise," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music. "Harvey is a legendary man of firsts who has, through courage, determination and inspiration, had an indelible impact on the world of tuba playing and brass playing in general. We join the many thousands of brass professionals, students and music lovers around the world in congratulating him on his most recent recognition."
    "Harvey Phillips changed the way the world sees the tuba and revolutionized the brass idiom," said Daniel Perantoni, who succeeded Phillips as tuba professor at the Jacobs School of Music. "Through his tireless efforts, he is responsible for the vast expansion of the tuba literature and increased awareness of the tuba as a musical instrument. With his induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, Harvey Phillips' achievements rank him among the greatest musicians of the 21st century. He has been an inspiration as mentor and teacher to me throughout my entire career."
    Phillips was born Dec. 2, 1929, in rural Missouri and attended school in tiny Marionville. His parents couldn't afford to buy him a musical instrument, but he joined the high school band, playing the school-owned sousaphone. After graduation, Phillips spent nine weeks with the King Brothers Circus Band and one semester at the University of Missouri before being asked to join the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. He left that circus band in 1950 to study at the Juilliard School of Music at the invitation of New York Philharmonic Orchestra tubist William Bell.
    Phillips played with numerous ensembles in New York, including the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet and the RCA Victor and Voice of Firestone orchestras. He co-founded the New York Brass Quintet and Orchestra U.S.A. From 1967 to 1971, he was vice president for financial affairs of the New England Conservatory of Music, headed by his friend Gunther Schuller.
    In a December 1975 profile in The New Yorker, Whitney Balliett wrote: "The ongoing elevation of the tuba from the laughingstock of musical instruments to one of its kings is mainly the doing of Harvey Phillips, a tubist and a professor of music at Indiana University, who has spent over half his life in the service of his instrument, which he plays better than anyone else in the world … Many of his colleagues rank him the finest living brass player and, by extension, one of the certified virtuosos of his time."
    Phillips accepted an invitation from Dean Wilfred Bain to join the faculty at the Indiana University School of Music in the fall of 1971. He replaced his mentor, William Bell, who had died that August after a decade teaching tuba at IU. "I made the right decision," Phillips said. "I love Indiana University and everything about it. The Jacobs School of Music has had a succession of incredible deans. At this point, I don't think they have any competition for being the greatest school of music in the world."
    In 1973, Phillips organized the first Tuba Christmas concert, in which tubists played holiday carols on the skating rink at New York's Rockefeller Center. The event, honoring Bell, who was born on Christmas Day, became a holiday tradition. Phillips also hosted annual Octubafest celebrations at his Tuba Ranch south of Bloomington.
    About the American Classical Music Hall of Fame
    The American Classical Music Hall of Fame, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a nonprofit organization devoted to celebrating the past, present and future of American classical music. It was founded in 1996 by Cincinnati businessman and civic leader David A. Klingshirn
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  2. #2

    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Hi Jim,

    I know how much you understandably value your association with this great musician. It's rare to see someone of this caliber -- but associated with what can be considered a relatively "obscure" instrument -- honored while still alive and kicking.

    I remember the tubists in high school and college all continually talking about and emulating Harvey Phillips; he probably doesn't realize the true scope of influence he's had on countless players across the past several generations.

    Thanks for sharing this news here with us, Professor!

    Danny

  3. #3

    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Absolutely well-deserved and long overdue. Go Harvey!
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    I always wondered if there was a tuba virtuoso... Now I know...

  5. #5

    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Quote Originally Posted by tradivoro
    I always wondered if there was a tuba virtuoso... Now I know...
    Trad,
    Not only was Harvey a virtuoso, but he has turned out dozens more who studied with him, and hundreds more who may not have studied with him, but heard his recordings or live performances and were inspired.

    Hundreds of us tuba & euphonium players have walked more easily through the doors that he worked so hard to open for us!!

    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  6. #6
    Moderator
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    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Way to go Harvey!

    Snorlax is next!


  7. #7

    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Way to go Harvey!

    Snorlax is next!

    Only if there is a Hall of Fame for Dingbats.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Tribute to a great musician

    Well, i did not know about this man, but great to see him get the recognition he deserves. I love the tuba, therefore love the people who play the tuba.

    I only about a week ago found on youtube some people really playing the tuba, but didn't come across him, maybe they are students of his.

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