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CARNIVAL concerto for bassoon and wind ensemble or bassoon and orchestra (2022)

For soloist and Wind Ensemble (26 players) or orchestra
Solo part can be played by either bassoon, baritone saxophone, euphonium, or Trombone

soloist, 2+picc.1+eh.1+bcl.0bsn+cbn.sop sax. alto sax.tenor sax./2.3.1+btbn. tuba. 4perc/ hp*/piano

* Harp is optional
(Percussion requirements are not large)

Premiered by the Sun Fredonia Wind Ensemble conducted by Paula Holcomb with Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon soloist at SUNY Fredonia, 30 April 2022
Duration: 13 minutes or 23 minutes (The shorter version omits the slow middle movement and one panel of music from the third section, which third section is is in a fast tempo.)

Premiere of the Baritone Saxophone version is TBD
Premiere of the Euphonium version is TBD
Premiere of the Trombone version is TBD


CARNIVAL world premiere

Program Note

Inspired by prose and poem, myth and lore, philosophy and religion, modern dance and jazz improvisation, Thomas’ composition is informed by layers of drawings, charts, and colorful visual artistry.
— R.J. Weick from her Feature Article in Great Lakes By Design Magazine.

In CARNIVAL, Thomas takes her listener and her musicians on a journey. With a compelling organic self-propulsion and vibrant inner life, the music is colorful, clean, witty, and intentional.

Thomas played trumpet for 14 years and grew up playing in the Wind Ensemble and band. Thus, she has an affinity for and understanding of the instrumentation from the inside out. You can hear that she heard every note and that every dynamic and articulation was sculpted.

Relatively speaking, bassoon concerti are rare. CARNIVAL shows off different attributes of the instrument and soloist with inventive music that seamlessly embraces lyrical, jazzy, spirited, stately, expressive, and many other qualities. This music is fun to play because it is engaging to bring to life Thomas’ distinctive, personal, clever sonic-storytelling.

Bassoon soloist, Nadina Mackie
Photo Credit: Bo Huang

Conductor Paula Holcomb
Photo Credit: Brian McConkey Photography
DOODLE OF THE MAP OF FORM as drawn by the composer

To obtain examination or performance material for this
Augusta Read Thomas work, please contact Nimbus Music Publishing.