Death of New York Brass Quintet’s tuba

Death of New York Brass Quintet’s tuba


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2021

The death of tuba virtuoso and teacher Toby Hanks is being widely mourned.

Aside from being a prime performer, he was an influential teacher at Manhattan School of Music.



  • Toby was a great player, one of the best of a fine group, and I treasure his memory. We will all miss him.

  • Courtney Adrian Rodriguez says:

    Toby was also the tuba teacher at Yale School of Music, and was my teacher there when I did my graduate degree 1986-1988. Those of us who were lucky enough to have known him and studied with him are deeply saddened by his passing.

  • Fred says:

    Toby was not the founder of the NYBQ. His predecessor in the group, Harvey Phillips, was.

    He was a great artist and teacher. He will be sorely missed.

  • Larry says:

    Was he not also a member of the New York City Ballet orchestra?

    • Yes, I was a regular alternate with the NYC Ballet Orchestra between 1969 to 1971 and Harvey Phillips had just retired. I was a bass trombone player and had the chance to perform with Toby a lot, and I was in awe of his musicianship.

  • Robert Moir says:

    Toby Hanks was a wonderful musician and human being. However, he was not a founder of the New York Brass Quintet. The original tubist of the NYBQ was Harvey Phillips.

  • Dave Bolser says:

    My wife’s father Robert Nagel was the founder of the NYBQ. Toby came to the quintet after Harvey. They were an amazing group of musicians.

  • Don Palma says:

    R.I.P. my bass clef brother. A great artist, teacher and person.