Tobias Picker, born in New York City in 1954, recently described by BBC Magazine as “displaying a distinctively soulful style that is one of the glories of the current musical scene,” holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and Princeton University where his principal teachers were Charles Wuorinen, Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt. He began gaining international recognition at 24 when The New Yorker identified him as “a genuine creator with a fertile unforced vein of invention.” Among his honors; The Charles Ives Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Mr. Picker’s works have been performed and/or commissioned by The New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Proms, James Levine, James Conlon, Lorin Maazel, Pinchas Zukerman, Christoph Eschenbach, Peter Serkin, Lynn Harrell, Ursula Oppens, Nathan Gunn, Susan Graham, Patricia Racette, Judith Bettina and most recently The Rambert Dance Company which has commissioned a large-scale ballet based on Awakenings by Oliver Sacks. His catalog encompasses every genre including several operas. Emmeline, premiered in 1996 by the Santa Fe Opera garnered world-wide acclaim and was televised by PBS’ Great Performances. His operas have been produced by several other companies including The Metropolitan Opera which commissioned and premiered his An American Tragedy two seasons ago. Tobias Picker is Artistic Advisor of NYC’s Dicapo Opera Theatre. (2008)