The esteemed English recorder player, conductor and teacher Philip Pickett,(born 1950) began his musical career as a trumpet player; his interest in the high trumpet parts of Bach and other baroque composers was fostered by Anthony Baines and David Munrow, who introduced him to all the families of early wind intsruments. This led him to take up the recorder, crumhorn, shawm, rackett etc, and he quickly became well-known as Britain's leading advocate of such instruments.
As a student at the Guildhall School of Music he was awarded the Silver Medal of
the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Maisie Lewis Foundation Award and the
Wedgewood Award. In 1972 he was appointed Professor of Recorder and Historical
Performance at the Guildhall School, and for twenty-five years played a leading
role in the School's Early Music Department, training many of the most gifted of
the later generations of early music specialists. Many of these talented artists
are now regular members of the NLC and MoG. He was honoured with a Fellowship of
the School in 1985.
Philip Pickett has performed and recorded as soloist with many leading
ensembles, among them the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Polish Chamber
Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London
Sinfonia, London Chamber Orchestra, London Bach Orchestra and English Concert.
His solo recordings include all the Handel recorder sonatas and trio sonatas,
virtuoso sonatas by 17th and 18th century Italian composers and concertos by
Vivaldi and Telemann.
Philip Pickett's constant search for new ways of presenting early music has led
him to introduce theatrical elements into concerts; present early lyrics in
modern English translations; combine music with dance and mime; preface concerts
with foyer entertainments including juggling, fire-eating, magic, minstrels and
dancing bears; and juxtapose earlier music with contemporary and ethnic music.
Pickett's success in the planning of major thematic concert series for the City
of London Festival(1982) and the 1983 Maastricht Festival, together with
the continuing enthusiasm among concert-goers and the press for his
Extravaganzas and large-scale concerts in the major London concert halls led to
his being appointed artistic director of London's Southbank Summerscope Festival
of Medieval and Rennaisance Music in 1988 s Pageant) - 32 concerts in two weeks,
received with unanimous critical acclaim.
In 1993 he began a new appointment as artistic director of the Purcell Room
Early Music Series, now in its seventh successful year. Also in 1993 came the
appointment as Director of Early Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the
formation of the Musicians of the Globe.
From 1994 to 1997 Philip Pickett was founder and director of the Aldeburgh Early
Music Festival, and in 1996 he was appointed artistic director of the new
September Early Music Festival at the South Bank Centre.