Tobias Picker

Born: July 18, 1954
New York City, NY, USA

Tobias Picker began composing at age eight. By the age of thirty, Picker was the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Bearns Prize (Columbia University), a Charles Ives Scholarship, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. In 1992, he received the prestigious Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. From 1985-90, Picker was Composer-in-Residence of the Houston Symphony and in 1995, he was named Composer-in-Residence for the Pacific Music Festival, founded by Leonard Bernstein.

Tobias Picker has been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to compose an opera that will have its premiere in the fall of 2004-05. The Dallas Opera is taking the lead in putting together an international consortium of opera companies to co-produce for 2001 Picker's third opera, Therese Raquin, based on the novel by Zola. His Suite for Cello and Piano, written for Lynn Harrell, was premiered in San Francisco in January 1999 and subsequently performed at Lincoln Center in May 1999. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Picker's second opera, based on Roald Dahl's classic story, was commissioned by the Roald Dahl Foundation for the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and was premiered in December 1998.

For its 40th anniversary season in 1996, the Santa Fe Opera gave the world premiere performances of Tobias Picker's first opera, Emmeline. The opera was inspired by Judith Rossner's novel about the true-life story of Emmeline Mosher. A single mother forced to give up her baby son, Emmeline unknowingly marries him twenty years later. Emmeline, which played to sold-out houses, standing ovations and international critical acclaim, was nationally telecast on PBS's acclaimed Great Performances series in April 1997. Emmeline received its New York premiere at New York City Opera the following season, and was hailed by The New York Times as one of the ten most significant musical events of 1998.

Picker has composed works in virtually all genres, including three symphonies, three piano concertos, concertos for violin, viola, and oboe, numerous songs, string quartets and chamber music for various combinations of instruments. The Encantadas, a work for actor and orchestra, has been performed throughout the world in seven languages.

Tobias Picker has been commissioned and performed by many of the world's leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists including Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Mazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Edo de Waart and the San Francisco Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, soprano Barbara Hendricks, flautist Carol Wincenc, cellist Lynn Harrell, pianists Ursula Oppens and Peter Serkin, and violinists Robert McDuffie and Young Uck Kim. His music has also been performed by Emanuel Ax, Andre Watts, Pinchas Zukerman; the Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, Baltimore and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, the Zurich Tonhalle, and the Jerusalem Symphony, the principal musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic and at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aldeburgh, Pacific Music Festival and Kuhmo International Music Festivals.

Thanks goes to Amy, who operates Mr. Picker's website, The Official Tobias Picker Website.

Instruments Played / Skills:

Classical Music
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