Thursday, January 7, 2010
Harvey Phillips (b. December 2, 1929) is a distinguished professor emeritus of the Department of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington (appointed professor 1971 - retired May 1994). He has performed as tuba soloist throughout the world. He was a professional freelance musician from 1950 to 1971. His first professional musicianship was with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band as a teenager. He served as personnel manager for Symphony of the Air, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, and Gunther Schuller.
He is founder and president of the Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc. which administers Octubafest, Tubachristmas, Tubasantas, Tubacompany, Tubajazz, etc.
Mr. Phillips is highly-regarded in the musician and tuba communities because his efforts have brought the tuba to a much wider audience and helped to free it from its unfortunate popular image of a slow, oafish instrument. He played many different forms of music in his career, showing many new possibilities for the tuba, and encouraging many younger players to become soloists and take the instrument in new directions. His creation of TubaChristmas has inspired others to create festivals for the tuba, and he has helped to build a brother/sisterhood among tuba players. Along with William Bell and Arnold Jacobs, Mr. Phillips is considered legendary among tubists.
In 2007, Mr Phillips was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame, the only wind instrument player to receive the prestigious honor.