Craig Knox

Craig Knox has been Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2005, having previously held positions of Acting Principal Tuba of the San Francisco Symphony, and Principal Tuba of the Sacramento Symphony and the New World Symphony (Miami). He has also performed as a guest artist with many other major American orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, and Seattle, and with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande of Geneva, Switzerland. Since 1995, he has spent part of each summer as co-principal tuba of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming.

Since joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, Knox also performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass. He has been an active chamber musician for many years, having co-founded the Center City Brass Quintet, which has performed in recital throughout the United States and Japan, and been heard numerous times on Performance Today. Its six recordings on the Chandos and Octavia labels have met with critical acclaim, the first being described by American Record Guide as “one of the all-time great brass quintet recordings.” In addition, he played for several seasons with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet — with which he recorded for the Naxos label — and has toured with the Empire Brass. In 2008, the Albany label released a CD recording featuring Knox and his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony low-brass section. Featuring chamber music, orchestral collections and original compositions for three trombones and tuba, the album — titled From the Back Row — was called “hauntingly beautiful” and “hair-raising” by the American Record Guide.

In March 2018, Mr. Knox played the world-premiere of the Jennifer Higdon Tuba Concerto (a PSO co-commission) with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano conducting, performances of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Mr. Knox played with assurance and complete command of his instrument, providing a convincing case for the solo potential of the tuba.” In 2019 he performed the work again, this time in Philadelphia's Verizon Hall, with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Mark Russell Smith conducting. In March 2012 Knox performed the world-premiere performances of Andre Previn's Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Horn and Tuba with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the composer on the podium; he performed a reprise of that work as part of the PSO's 120th Anniversary Celebration Concert, with Music Director Manfred Honeck conducting. Mr. Knox has also performed as a soloist with the U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington D.C., the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble, in addition to recital performances at universities and music festivals around the world. His solo recording, A Road Less Traveled, of music for tuba and piano with Rodrigo Ojeda, was released in 2012.

Knox is Artist Lecturer of Tuba at Carnegie Mellon University, and a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He previously served on the faculty at Kent State University and California State University-Hayward, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was director of the Brass Chamber Music program. He has presented master classes, seminars and recitals at universities, conservatories and festivals around the world, including the Music Masters Course in Kazusa (Japan), the International Brass Symposium (Italy), Tainan National University (Taiwan), the Bruckner University of Music (Linz, Austria), Stuttgart Conservatory (Germany), the National Orchestral Institute (University of Maryland), the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A. (Carnegie Hall) and the New World Symphony, as well as the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Yale University and the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, among many others.

A native of Storrs, Connecticut, Knox began formal musical studies on the classical guitar at age six, and took up the baritone horn in the fifth grade. At age 11, while attending a summer music camp, he was so enamored of the student orchestra that he switched to tuba so he could pursue a life in music as an orchestral performer. His first teachers included Gary Ofenloch, Samuel Pilafian and Chester Schmitz, and he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree.

Mr. Knox holds the Dr. Mary Ann Craig Principal Tuba Chair. For more information about Craig Knox and his activities, visit www.CraigKnoxTuba.com, or Craig Knox Tubist on Facebook