Eugene Anderson was born in 1944 and started playing tuba at age ten. When in high school, he started writing solos to create better quality literature. Then he won three summer music camp scholarships and in the largest, the State of Wisconsin, three-week summer camp, he was ranked as the first chair in the top band of three but also played in the orchestra, and was recognized as the best wind instrument player in the orchestra at 17 years old. He enrolled in the Fall as a music major and was the first chair in the top concert band all 5 years he played. He was the first composer in the country to write tuba quartet literature. Initially, Professor Raymond Dvorak asked him to arrange, by ear, from a recording, the worlds' first tuba quartet from the Hoffnung Festival of London. His band quartet of four BBb tubas played that Chopin Mazurka at every mid-winter concert and was asked to write a new one on each of the 1962-65 tours each January to great success. His love of tuba quartets was creating an audience and helping him to be a proponent of the group. He now has 25 tuba/euphonium quartets and growing.
When he graduated he was awarded the Charles M Faulhaber award given to the music major most likely to succeed. He also studied orchestration with James Christensen who went on to be appointed head of Disneyland music. Their paths would cross again. His first teaching was at the University of Toledo as a tuba instructor and member of the Toledo Brass Quintet. He also played in the Toledo Opera orchestra and in The Toledo Symphony brass quintet. During this time from 1968-1971, he wrote a full concerto for his mentor and teacher, Arnold Jacobs, of the Chicago Symphony for 44 years. When completed he gave him a full copy of the score as a thank you for inspiring him even more. Their paths would cross again as well. (see Reviews section) Mr. Anderson performed the first movement with an orchestra before heading out west.
Now, to pursue his Masters in Music composition, he got a graduate fellowship at Arizona State University and taught brass and private lessons. He performed his concerto with piano in recital. During this time he wrote 'The Perception of War' symphonic tone poem for full orchestra. That summer the Phoenix symphony performed it. Then the all-state orchestras of Oklahoma and New York played it and then the Interlochen National music camp orchestra performed it for 5000 people. The piece was about the Battle of Armageddon and was very powerful. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Masters in Composition, he took on a real challenge. He accepted the head of bands position at the Apache Junction Jr and Sr. High School with only 10 in the band, The group had a terrible reputation. The band quickly grew to 80 in four years and with new horns and new uniforms and a new band room designed by Mr. Anderson, the band decided to enter the University of Arizona band day competition in Tucson. Against 100 other larger bands they marched a perfect show with two of Mr. Anderson's arrangements and was awarded the Nunamaker Award for the best show of the day, an amazing feat. One of the eight judges was none other than James Christensen of Disneyland, his former teacher. What a great reunion that was.
One day Mr. Anderson heard a new ASU orchestra conductor was hired, Dr. Timothy Russell, who loved to do premiers of new works. He heard the first movement of the concerto with orchestra and two movements with piano. He loved it. The world's best tuba player Sam Pilfian was now at ASU and said he would perform it. So after 27 years of waiting, like Mr. Hollands' Opus, it was finally played, recorded, and distributed world wide He sent a copy to Arnold Jacobs and his amazing testimonial letter is on this site, the only sign of his life. Our paths crossed again!
Reviews all over the world poured in confirming the 1991 Review by Bart Cummings that it was "a masterwork of the first order". Mr. Jacobs died a few months later. Reviews poured in including the very famous Harvey Phillips of Indiana University. (See Reviews) He asked for an ENCORE!! in his letter. Well, his call is now answered with the publication of ' Tuba Concerto No, 2' in a contemporary style and amazingly, 'Tuba Concerto No. 3', in a jazz style.
These two new works fulfill his dream of writing three Tuba Concertos in three different styles, a feat unequaled by anyone. Also, another " dream come true" is the completion of three tuba solos in three different styles. Lyri-Tech I is on the CD played by Sam, but ' Jazzy-Tech II' and ' Rock"n-Tech III' are now done and published by Cimarron Music as well. In 1998 his album 'Perception' was entered into four categories of the Grammy Awards. First, for the best new concerto, second, for best soloist with orchestra, third, best new work for orchestra, for Perception of War, and fourth for best classical album of the year. All of these new works are published at Cimarron now. When the owner of Cimmaron Music first met him he offered to publish all his work including the concerto piano reduction. Mr. Anderson established his website in 1988 to let players all over the world know of his works. This is the first revision of that site and includes many of his new works.
Some fascinating unknown facts about the first concerto are: the first theme is the only one to appear in all three movements: there are places where the composer secretly tips his musical hat to Schubert, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler: the second movement uses the lullaby theme played backward and forwards and even both, simultaneously: the layering of themes in counterpoint occurs at the end of the first and third movements with 5 themes present in movement three for a fantastic concerto ending, like no other concerto for any instrument ever written: the tuba duets with every single instrument before the concerto finishes: the composer uses a percussion ensemble in the third movement which did not exist in the nineteenth century: the longest coda of over three minutes, is started by a snare solo and is followed with the brass playing in two keys at once, making it a 20th-century work as well. These musical events prompted reviewer Barton Cummings to call it a " Giant" work.
He has never revealed this before. He hopes you enjoy the work even more now. Players in the orchestra told him it was the best concerto they ever played since they were all so involved with thematic material. It truly is a concerto for tuba AND orchestra. In 1988 he opened his website and the current one will replace that in 2020. After the CD was released worldwide it was entered into the Grammy Awards in four categories. First was the category of the best concerto, next was the best soloist with orchestra; Sam Pilafian, virtuoso; then best new work for orchestra; 'The Perception of War;' and finally best classical album of the year. Reviews poured in from all over the world from over 55,000 CD's sold. (see reviews).