David Pickett, conductor, writer, teacher and record producer, was born in Yorkshire, England, but began his musical training in London: piano, organ and composition with Dr. Charles F. Waters and conducting with Alan Barlow. He graduated from London University with a BMus, and holds a PhD from Surrey University for his research under the direction of Dr. Hans Heimler on “Gustav Mahler as an Interpreter”.
David Pickett continued his conducting studies with the renowned Russian conductor Igor Markevitch, who became his principal musical mentor. He founded the Bushey Symphony Orchestra in 1974, and was subsequently appointed principal conductor and Musical Director of two orchestras in the USA, the Carmel Symphony and the Bloomington Symphony. Guest appearances have taken him back to Europe, and he has done much to champion the new music of Polish and Finnish composers. In 1995 he commissioned and conducted the première of the Seventh Symphony, Angel of Light, by Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Dr. Pickett is an internationally recognized expert on Mahler’s music and conducting career. He is a regular guest of the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna and much in demand elsewhere. He has prepared for publication and performance scores of Mahler’s interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert, some of which have been recorded on CD.
As advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Leonard Slatkin he planned the two-week series of concerts and lectures in the Kennedy Center in September 2000 with the theme of “Beethoven as edited by Mahler”. His writings on Mahler have been published by Ashgate, Cambridge University Press, and Böhlau Verlag. Pickett is currently preparing definitive editions of Mahler’s “version” of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the Mahler Gesamtausgabe, and Sibelius’ Sixth Symphony for the Breitkopf Gesamtausgabe.
David Pickett also holds a degree in Electronic Engineering, and was for nine years active at the EMI studios in Abbey Road, London, working with such artists as Klemperer, Giulini, Barenboim, and even the memorable Beatles. He was Director of Tonmeister Studies and Lecturer in Recording Techniques at Surrey University, England, before becoming Professor of Music and Director of Recording Arts at Indiana University, Bloomington, and subsequently Professor of Music and Manager of Recording Services at the University of North Texas, USA. He is currently Chair of Audio Production at The Art Institute, Houston, Texas.
When not conducting, teaching, recording, or writing on music, Pickett builds and plays harpsichords and organs by way of relaxation. His musical editions and arrangements are published by Josef Weinberger Ltd. and Fugato Press.
He is proud of his two daughters and their husbands, who between them have provided him with six wonderful grandchildren.