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The Juggler

for orchestra

Year:  1992   ·  Duration:  5m
Instrumentation:  3*33*3*; 4331; timp., 3 perc.; hp, pno/kb; strings | (Perc: cymbals, snare drum, triangle, claves, bongos, xylophone)

Year:  1992
Duration:  5m
Instrumentation  3*33*3*; 4331; timp., 3 per...

Composer:   Philip Norman

Films, Audio & Samples

Philip Norman: The Juggler ...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-4.

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One of the best pieces of theatre I ever saw was a West Indian street juggler on Sydney's harbourfront.

Balls, knives, truncheons, flaming torches - you name an object, the juggler floated multiple copies of it through the air with ease.

But his performance was more about playing with the crowd than defying gravity. His infectious extrovertism, his fluid, calypso-like movements, and his wonderful knack of conveying that at any moment he could be battered, skewered or grilled by his own art kept us engaged right through to the time we showered coins into his hat.

If my music for The Juggler manages to capture half of the essence of this performance, I shall be one happy composer.


An orchestral overture which has been described as "... a highly successful piece that could bear repetition not just in this context (Pops concerts) but in more traditional concerts." Evening Post February 1993.

It has already had over 20 performances by four different orchestras and works well with a live juggler.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for 1993 Summer Pops Tour with Ron Goodwin

Performance history

24 Feb 1993: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ron Goodwin