con·​cer·​to | \ kən-ˈcher-(ˌ)tō also -ˈchər- How to pronounce concerto (audio) \
plural concerti\ kən-​ˈcher-​(ˌ)tē How to pronounce concerti (audio) also  -​ˈchər-​ \ or concertos

Definition of concerto

: a piece for one or more soloists and orchestra with three contrasting movements a violin concerto

Examples of concerto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Thousands of pages of manuscripts, including music from baroque operas to concertos for solo instruments, some of which had been copied as late as 2005, had survived. Nicholas Casey, New York Times, "Jesuit Legacy in the Bolivian Jungle: A Love of Baroque Music," 8 May 2018 Inspired by the Tristan legend, Messiaen’s riotous celebration of love is a loopy, visionary kind-of concerto for piano and the whistling ondes martenot: Think of a Chagall painting in sound. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "An Orchestra’s Ecstatic, Once-in-a-Lifetime Birthday Party," 27 Apr. 2018 As staged in New York, the concerto will showcase two soloists — a violinist, Elizabeth Zeltser of the Philharmonic, and a percussionist, David Cossin — at the front of the stage. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "Watch Ping-Pong Make Its New York Philharmonic Debut," 19 Feb. 2018 Over the years, Corea has written and performed pieces with Brazilian flavors, jazz trio numbers and piano concertos, including one to commemorate the anniversary of Mozart's 250th birthday. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Chick Corea plays acoustic with jazz group at Genesee," 14 Mar. 2018 Listeners shouldn’t expect the kind of purely musical sweep of modern symphonies by John Adams, or by Machover in his excellent, less-programmatic series of concertos. David Patrick Stearns,, "Philadelphia Orchestra's new oratorio wit' cheesesteaks was great fun at its Philly premiere," 6 Apr. 2018 Leading up to the Beethoven concerto, a large swatch of gauzy fabric was brought onstage, and Kopatchinskaja was ritualistically wrapped in it. Mark Swed,, "Beethoven rolls over at the Ojai Music Festival," 8 June 2018 Next month, for example, Ms. Cuckson will be the soloist with the Stuttgart State Orchestra for the European premiere of a violin concerto by Georg Friedrich Haas. New York Times, "Review: A Tiny Garage Explodes in Pianistic Madness," 25 June 2018 Theresa was soloist for the world premiere of the concerto, which was performed by the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times, "Philharmonia Northwest presents old and new music created entirely by Seattle composers," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concerto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of concerto

1710, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for concerto

Italian, from concerto concert

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about concerto

Statistics for concerto

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for concerto

The first known use of concerto was in 1710

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for concerto



English Language Learners Definition of concerto

: a piece of music for one or more main instruments with an orchestra


con·​cer·​to | \ kən-ˈcher-tō How to pronounce concerto (audio) \
plural concertos

Kids Definition of concerto

: a musical composition usually in three parts for orchestra with one or more principal instruments

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on concerto

Spanish Central: Translation of concerto

Nglish: Translation of concerto for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about concerto

Comments on concerto

What made you want to look up concerto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!