London’s premier tuba blasts his last

London’s premier tuba blasts his last


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2017

Mahler’s seventh symphony at the Barbican last night marked the retirement concert of Patrick Harrild, principal tuba for 29 years and a notable voice on the orchestra’s board. He was also the principal exponent of the rather lovely Vaughan Williams tuba concerto.

Patrick went out last night with the most serene opening-movement solo.

The right-hand back wall won’t look the same without him.


  • Joel Lazar says:

    Not currently in London, did I miss seeing specifically WHICH orchestra he played in? Interesting also that the tenor horn solo in Mahler 7 would be played by the principal tubist rather than by a trombonist.

    • Max Grimm says:

      He played in the London Symphony Orchestra.

    • Andrew Condon says:

      He was principal in the London Symphony Orchestra. Norman refers to his recording on Chandos label of the VW Tuba Concerto – interesting to note that his teacher and immediate predecessor at the LSO also made a renowned recording of this piece with Previn which was included as a filler on Previn’s early 1970’s RCA VW symphony cycle.

  • The “tenor horn” solo of Mahler 7 is an interesting case. In 2014 Kent Nagano hired Lee Rogers, principal trombone of the Washington National Opera, who is also an expert euphonium player, to play the solo on tour (and on a euphonium).

    • Joel Lazar says:

      Here the Washington DC area with the numerous service bands we often find tenor tuba parts [not Wagner Tuben of course] played by excellent euphonium or baritone players. I worked with such a virtuoso when I conducted the Janacek Capriccio some years back.

  • John Goldsmith says:

    Have a great retirement Patrick!
    With happy memories from the 1970’s.
    John Goldsmith

  • Palestrina says:

    It wasn’t Patrick playing the beginning of Mahler 7 at the concert but Peter Moore the LSO Principal Trombone.

  • Carolyn Foulkes says:

    Congratulations Patrick from a “blast from the past” – Carolyn Foulkes, an American cornetist from City of London Brass with Geoffrey Brand, and Guildhall. Hope you thoroughly enjoy your well-deserved retirement!!