Conducting

David Pickett studied conducting with the Russian conductor Igor Markevitch in France, Monaco and Germany. He also assisted Markevitch in the preparation of his Encylopaedic Edition of the Beethoven symphonies and oversaw its posthumous publication.

To date he has been Music Director of seven ensembles. See repertoire

Lapeer County Concert Choir, Michigan 2004–2006

The choir gave concerts in both Lapeer and St. Clair Counties.
Pickett’s repertoire included
    Beethoven: Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur
    Bruckner: Virga Jesse
    Byrd: Rorate coeli de super
    Gibbons: This is the Record of John
    Handel: Messiah (uncut)
    Haydn: Spring from The Seasons
    Mendelssohn: Hear my Prayer
    Praetorius: Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen
    Sweelinck: Hodie Christus natus est

SC4 Symphonic Band, Port Huron, Michigan 2002–2005

In addition to an annual series of concerts in the McMorran Auditorium, Port Huron, the band performed concerts in Lexington and Maryville and played at the annual graduation ceremonies.

Napier University Orchestra, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999–2000

The orchestra performed at graduation ceremonies, and gave regular concerts on the Napier University campus and in and around Edinburgh.

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Indiana 1987–1995

In addition to the annual Night in Old Vienna dinner-dance events, Pickett conducted a concert of the music of P. D. Q. Bach with guest artist Peter Schickele.
The repertoire of the orchestra during Pickett's tenure was wide-ranging, including:

World Premières

    Frederick Fox: Dark Moons/Bright Shadows
    Dennis Meckler: Mirages
    Daniel Powers: The Minotaur
    Einojuhani Rautavaara: Symphony No.7, Angel of Light
    James Underwood: Glider, Grendel, and Grendel’s Mother
    Sulaiman Zai: A Christmas Offering

Works by Bloomington composers

    Thomas Beversdorf: Serenade
    Walter Bricht: Symphonic Suite
    Hoagie Carmichael: Brown County Autumn
    Bernhard Heiden: Salute
    George List: Marche O’Malley
    Newell Long: Hoosier Hills Hymn and Hoedown

Other unusual works

    Arnold: Flute Concerto, op.45
    Bizet: Patrie! Overture
    Delius: Brigg Fair
    Glazunov: Finnish Fantasy
    Humperdinck: Suite from Hansel and Gretel
    Karlowicz: Symphony in E minor, op.7
    Merikanto: Notturno
    Moniuszko: Bajka Overture
    Panufnik: Concerto Festivo
    Panufnik: Tragic Overture
    Rachmaninov: Isle of the Dead
    Schuman: New England Triptych

Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Indiana, 1985–1997

Highlights of Pickett’s twelve years with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra include:

    the establishment of CarmelFest
    the establishment of the annual Youth Concerto Competition
    annual performances of Tschaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet
    the US première of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Lintukoto
    the Indiana première of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio
    world premières of David Dzubay’s Symphonic Dance and Michael Schelle’s Spirits

Unusual Repertoire

    Busoni: Clarinet Concertino
    Chabrier: Suite Pastorale
    Delius: On Hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring
    Elgar: Froissart Overture
    Holst: A Fugal Overture
    Ibert: Concertino da Camera
    Kennan: Night Soliloquy
    Moniuszko: Jawnuta Overture
    Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus
    Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments
    Szymanowski: Roxana’s Song
    Vaughan Williams. Double Piano Concerto
    Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast

Bloomington Brass Band, Indiana, 1984–1989

This British-style brass band was formed of players from Bloomington, Indiana, together with selected students of the IU School of Music. In addition to regular concerts in Bloomington, the ensemble was frequently invited to perform in other communities of southern Indiana. In 1985 the band placed second in the NABBA Championships in Toronto, Ontario, and Kris Dahlin, the E-flat soprano cornet player, won the prize for solo performance.

Bushey Symphony Orchestra, England, 1974–1983

Pickett was the founder of Bushey Symphony Orchestra. With it he conducted all the Beethoven Symphonies and much more. Highlights of his tenure include:

    concerts in England: Bushey and Watford, Herts; Uxbridge, Clapham,
      Wroughton and Wolverton

    concerts in France (Chartres and Orléans),
      Belgium (Antwerp and Robertville),
      Holland (Den Haag, Groningen, Haarlem)
      and Germany (Viernheim, Rietberg, Reichenbach, Lautertal and Mainz)

    the Rank Xerox Composition Prize (1979), won by Raymond Parfrey’s
      Awayday Overture

    UK première of Daniel Abrams: Flute Concerto

    world premières of
      Michael Kitchin: Four Moods;
      Pat Moss: Soliloquy for Flute and Strings
                    Suite for Flute and Strings
                    Suite for Bassoon


    two published LP recordings

Guest Conducting

    Biel/Bienne Philharmonic Orchestra, Switzerland
    Czestochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, Poland
    Slupsk Symphony Orchestra, Poland
    Orchestra of the Chopin Academy, Warsaw, Poland
    British Youth Symphony Orchestra
    British Youth Chamber Orchestra
    Collegiate Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
    Music on the Fens, Cambridge, England
    Indiana University Orchestras (Nutcracker Ballet and concert appearances)
    Atlantic Brass Band, New Jersey
    Bowling Green Philharmonia, Ohio
    CAMMAC, Québec
    Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Indiana
    Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra
    Kearney Symphony Orchestra, Nebraska
    International Symphony Orchestra, Michigan and Ontario

Soloists who have appeared with David Pickett include:

    Nicholas Ashton, piano
    Jonathan Biss, piano
    Katya Cerovsek, piano
    Leonard Hokanson, piano
    Martin Hughes, piano
    Shigeo Neriki, piano
    Stephen Prutsman, piano
    Andrzej Ratusiński piano
    Bernard Roberts, piano
    Christopher Taylor, piano
    James Tocco, piano

    Corey Cerovsek, violin
    Nona Liddell, violin
    Yfrah Neaman, violin

    Marie Hallynck, cello
    Fritz Magg, cello
    Arkady Orlovsky, cello
    Janos Starker, cello

    Teresa Kubiak, soprano
    Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mezzo-soprano

    Peter Lloyd, flute
    Anton Weinberg, clarinet

    David Bell, organ

    D. J. Enright, poet (Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf)
    Peter Schickele (P. D. Q. Bach)

Programming and Repertoire

An important feature of Pickett’s approach to music making has been a thorough grounding in the classical style through regular contact with the Viennese masters, balanced by appropriate and complementary programming of romantic, modern and contemporary music and the encouragement of local composers.

Finnish music has been heavily represented in Pickett’s repertoire, including the music of Sibelius, Merrikanto, and the contemporary composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. In 1994, Pickett commissioned Rautavaara to write a symphony for the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana, conducting in 1995 the world première of this work (Symphony No. 7, “Angel of Light”). Together with Cantus Arcticus, this symphony has become one of the most played and recorded works of Rautavaara. Pickett also conducted the US premières of Rautavaara’s Lintukoto (Isle of Bliss) and Third Symphony.

David Pickett and Einojuhani Rautavaara

with the composer Einojuhani Rautavaara

"As to the Seventh Symphony, I don’t think I would have composed it — at least, not at that time — without David Pickett..." Einojuhani Rautavaara (Fanfare July/Aug 1996)

He also has a special relationship with the music of Poland, having visited the country many times. He regularly programmes works by Chopin, Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Baird, Lutoslawski, and particularly Andrzej Panufnik, the revised version of whose Sinfonia Votiva he conducted in Warsaw and Czestochowa.

David Pickett and Andrzei Panufnik

with the composer Andrzei Panufnik


Children’s Concerts

David Pickett

Pickett’s approach to Children’s Concerts has proved popular with youngsters and parents alike

He takes great care to choose pieces which appeal specifically to young listeners, and introduces the works from the stage, taking his cue from Leonard Bernstein’s example. He often involves the youngsters in performance during the concert, through audience participation and by inviting as many children as space will allow to perform on stage with the orchestra.

In preparing these concerts he works closely with local schools and music teachers.

Masterworks Concerts

From Bach’s Musical Offering

On occasion, Pickett has performed a single masterwork in a concert, preceded by an illustrated lecture in which the orchestra also participates. Supporting material is provided by handouts (with facsimiles), display photographs and PowerPoint presentations.

    Bach: A Musical Offering
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat
    Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn
    Haydn: Symphony No. 104 in D
    Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor

Click to see a list of David Pickett’s conducting repertoire in a new window

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Copyright © David Pickett 2009—2016