See All Musicians
See All Musicians

Anthony Kniffen


Musician Bio

Anthony Kniffen’s first professional orchestral experience, at age 18, was as acting Principal Tuba in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a concert under Sir Georg Solti. A year later he joined the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons, and was appointed Principal Tuba of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1997. His teachers have included Daniel Perantoni and Harvey Phillips, both at Indiana University, Gene Pokorny and Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony, Robert Tucci, of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Floyd Cooley, of the San Francisco Symphony.

Playing along with such diverse groups as folk artists The Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau in Hawaii to the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra here in Indianapolis, Mr. Kniffen has also performed with the Saint Louis, Minnesota, Detroit and New Mexico symphony orchestras and recorded numerous discs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In the ’90s, he toured the U.S. extensively with Summit Brass (“America’s Large Brass Ensemble”) and Japan with Sierra Brass. A winner of four concerto competitions, other solo appearances include regional and international tuba conferences and colleges, including his alma mater, Indiana University. A highlight of Mr. Kniffen’s career was performing the John Williams Tuba Concerto on an ISO Classical Series Concert under the baton of Mario Venzago in 2008.

Mr. Kniffen is the ‘play-along’ tuba player on a Hal Leonard educational project called, “Essential Elements 2000,” and can also be heard on a tribute CD to jazz legend David Baker, “Basically Baker,” and, most notably on “CSO Resound: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Section Live.”

His teaching career began at the University of Hawai’i and continued here at the University of Indianapolis, before joining Butler University. A great honor has been to fill in for sabbaticals at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and several times for his mentor, Dan Peranatoni at IU, and for a semester at Ball State. In 2015, he traveled to Hokkaido, Japan for their prestigious annual euphonium/tuba workshop.

He is devoted to his lovely wife, ISO violist Amy Kniffen, their children, and their church, and is proud of having completely remodeled their master bathroom without injury, mostly by himself learning from YouTube videos.

Browse Upcoming Events

See Events