Are you tired of playing the same piccolo solo pieces over and over? I compiled a list of some great works, many of which are new or aren’t super popular.
Sure, some are classics, and you’ve probably heard of them or played them. But they’re still worth including in case you have yet to dive into some of the standards.
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If you want to practice switching between your flute and piccolo, I’d recommend the Amlin Concerto. You get to show off your skills on both instruments.
It’s a good choice for a recital or a concerto competition. Of course, playing multiple flutes can be trick. Just make sure to practice the switch along with the individual instrument parts.
One of the lesser-known piccolo solo pieces is the Broughton Concerto. The piece received its premiere at the NFA Convention in 1992, so it’s been out for 30 years now.
If you’re tired of playing the same old repertoire, this can be a good piece to learn. Then, you can play it as a soloist or with a pianist using the piano reduction.
Chamberlain Death Whistle
When you’re looking for something unaccompanied and fun to play, try learning Death Whistle by Nicole Chamberlain. The piece has three movements that all encapsulate the piccolo’s stereotypes.
I played it on my second masters recital, and it was a crowd-pleaser. This piece is great if you want to work on endurance and extended techniques, but make sure to keep your earplugs on hand.
Dorff Tweet for Solo Piccolo
Another one of the best unaccompanied piccolo solo pieces is Daniel Dorff’s Tweet for Solo Piccolo. The piece has a lot of arpeggiated grace notes, so it’s quite technical.
But there are some lyrical passages, so you can let your piccolo sing. You’ll need to work on the music slowly to get the piece to sound good, but you can perform it in a variety of settings after that.
Dorman Concerto for Piccolo
I learned the Dorman Concerto for Piccolo during my masters, and I played it on a recital. The piece has three movements, and the movements represent rock, world music, and classical music.
It’s a tough piece, and it takes a lot of work to put it with piano or orchestra. However, it’s fun to play when you do get the hang of it, so be sure to do some listening and score study.
Harberg Hall of Ghosts
One of the newest piccolo solo pieces is Hall of Ghosts by Amanda Harberg. This piece is from 2020, and it represents the suddenly-empty concert halls after the initial COVID-19 lockdowns.
I’ve played through the piece a few times, and it has some tough spots. But it’s relatively short, so it’s great as an encore or as part of your main recital program.
Harberg Sonata for Piccolo and Piano
If you’re looking for accompanied music, you might enjoy the Harberg Sonata for Piccolo and Piano. Now, I haven’t played this piece and don’t know much about the details of it.
However, it’s been a common piece that people have shared online. If you like to play with a pianist, you can check out this work for your next performance.
Jacob The Pied Piper
Another one of the best piccolo solo pieces that also involves the flute is The Pied Piper by Gordon Jacob. The first movement is for solo flute, while the second movement features the piccolo.
I like that you can set your instrument down between movements. You can take a few seconds to adjust, so you don’t feel as stressed like you might in some pieces with faster flute swaps.
Liebermann Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra
One of the most famous concertos for the instrument is probably the Liebermann Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra. I’ve read through the piece, and it’s pretty difficult.
But if you’re able to break it up and practice the sections, you can learn the piece. It makes for a great concerto competition piece or a recital closer.
Loeb Six Preludes
If you’re looking for more unaccompanied music, consider Loeb Six Preludes, Volume 1.This set is based on Asian flutes, so it’s fun if you want to explore world music.
However, it doesn’t always use traditional bar lines, which can be tricky. And if you like this piece, check out the other piccolo solo pieces from David Loeb.
Yet another concerto to learn is the McKimm Concerto. This is a piece I’m not as familiar with, but I’ve heard good things about it, so I want to include it on the list.
Once again, if you like playing lesser-known piccolo solo pieces, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I might look into getting a copy and reading through it at some point.
The Mower Sonata is a great piece for piccolo and piano players alike. I’ve heard that the piano part is complex, so it’s not just accompanying the piccolo.
That means you’ll need to work a bit more with your pianist to put the piece together. However, that can make it a bit more rewarding than playing something simpler.
Musgrave Piccolo Play
Not all piccolo and piano pieces are sonatas or concertos. Musgrave Piccolo Play is for the two instruments, and it’s in homage to Couperin.
The piece can be a nice introduction to the piccolo for flute players who like Baroque music or Baroque-inspired works. Give this a try for yourself or your students as well.
Persichetti Parable XII
One of the first unaccompanied piccolo solo pieces is Persichetti Parable XII. The work is part of a series of parables for other instruments, similar to how Hindemith wrote sonatas for various instruments.
If you like new music and want to perform alone, this can be a good choice. Of course, it will take practice, so set aside plenty of time to learn the work.
Here’s a piece for all the atonal fans: Rees Nightsong. The piece doesn’t have a key or a tonic, so it can be tricky if you’ve never played serial works before.
However, it can be a good challenge, and you get to imitate the sounds of birds. I’ve read part of the piece, and I’ll admit that serialism isn’t my favorite, but it might sound better with practice.
Schocker Pickles and Ice Cream
When I was in college, one of my student-mates played Pickles and Ice Cream by Gary Schocker. I don’t remember the piece much since it’s been a few years since I heard it.
However, I remember it seeming like a fun piece for piccolo players. It’s not as big of a work as a concerto or sonata, so it can be more approachable for students.
Smith To the Nth Degree
Also named Sonata No. 3, Smith’s To the Nth Degree is an amazing work for piccolo and piano. It will take plenty of practice alone and with a pianist to perform the music.
However, if you’re looking for a challenge, this is a great option. Be sure to read through it first, and make sure you know a pianist who’s willing to work on it with you.
Vivaldi Concerto in C Major, RV 443
Of course, I have to include the Vivaldi Concerto in C Major in a list of piccolo solo pieces. I played this piece on my junior recital in college, and it was fun.
Sure, the piece was technically for recorder and not the piccolo. However, the piccolo world has taken the work over, and it’s become a standard of the repertoire.
Which Piccolo Solo Pieces Will You Play?
There are a lot of amazing piccolo solo pieces, and I couldn’t include all of them. However, I tried to include some unaccompanied works as well as sonatas and concertos.
Be sure to bookmark this list and come back whenever you need new piccolo repertoire. And share it with your students and other piccolo players so that they can learn of these pieces.