Concerto for Trumpets and Chamber Orchestra

Concerto for Trumpets and Chamber Orchestra


  • Trumpets (1 player) and Chamber Orchestra (2011)
  • Trumpets (1 player) and Piano (2011)
  • Divertissement, for Trumpet and Brass Ensemble (2016)


Technical Information

Duration – 18:42

A) Concerto for Trumpets (1 player) and Chamber Orchestra (2011)

  1. Ouverture, for Piccolo Trumpet (5:44)
  2. Nocturne, for Flugelhorn (6:11)
  3. Divertissement, for The Trumpet (6:47)

Solo trpts./2(2=picc).1.2(2=bcl.).1./

(alternate part for 1 percussion)

B) Trumpets (1 player) and Piano (2017)

Piano reduction by Sergei Kofman, assisted by the composer

C) Divertissement (3 Movement), for Trumpet and Brass Ensemble (2016) – 6:50

Solo Bb trpt./3trpt.flhn.horn.2trbn.bstrbn.euph.tb./2perc.


Program Notes

When Burnette Dillon asked me to write a concerto using a variety of different trumpets, I was intrigued. We began by making a plan to use three instruments: a piccolo trumpet in A, a flugelhorn and a trumpet in Bb. Both the piccolo trumpet and the flugelhorn were new territory for me as a composer. Luckily, Burnette was a commissioner who wanted to have an active part in the creation of a new work. His help in creating solo parts that were idiomatic was invaluable. Burnette has worked as both a symphonic and studio musician in Los Angeles, so I decided to make musical references to both worlds.

The opening Ouverture, for piccolo trumpet, is in a neo-baroque style, in homage to an instrument commonly associated with this era. The movement is basically in a French Ouverture form, with a slow majestic start followed by a fast, energetic, and virtuosic middle section, and ends with a return to the slow majestic music.  The musical material from the very opening is continually developed throughout the movement, using a variety of baroque (and more contemporary) techniques, including a fugato in the fast section.

The slow movement features the flugelhorn, an instrument rarely used in classical compositions, but commonly found in jazz ensembles. Being a Nocturne, the movement aims to suggest a night atmosphere with a quiet and meditative character. Starting with a slow plaintive melody, the movement switches to a more upbeat section with a slight jazz influence, suggesting a little night time frivolity.

The finale is for the Bb trumpet and is named Divertissement, a piece designed for the entertainment of the audience and the players. The movement is in a straight forward sonata allegro form, but sounds more like a musical potpourri, going through a variety of virtuosic episodes for the trumpet, the horn section and the rest of the ensemble. Film music is an influence, here paying tribute to Hollywood action/adventure films.

Conductor Jorge Mester, Trumpeter Burnette Dillon & Ronald Royer at the recording session of the concerto