David Pickett, conductor, writer, lecturer 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 is a graduate of London University 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 Music Director of two orchestras in the USA, the Carmel Symphony and the Bloomington Symphony. With these ensembles he championed 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. He was also Music Director of The Bloomington Brass Band, the SC4 Symphonic Band and the Lapeer Chamber Choir, attracting acclaim for quality performances and expansion of the repertoire of these ensembles.
Dr. Pickett is an internationally recognized expert on Mahler’s music and conducting career. He collaborates with the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna and is much in demand elsewhere for workshops, letures and concerts. 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 a two-week series of concerts and lectures in the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, in September 2000 with the theme of “Beethoven as edited by Mahler”. His writings on Mahler have been published by Ashgate, Cambridge University Press, Böhlau Verlag and Laaber 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 Daniel Barenboim and Placido Domingo. He was Director of Tonmeister Studies and Lecturer in Recording Techniques at Surrey University, England. In 1983, he was appointed Professor of Music and Director of Recording Arts at Indiana University, Bloomington, later taking up appointements as Professor of Music at the University of North Texas and Chair of Audio Production at The Art Institute, Houston. He now lives in Vienna, Austria.
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.