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About Tobias Picker

"Vocal composers are not necessarily gifted in both recital works and opera. Faure and Chausson and Wolf composed great songs but no viable stage works; with Puccini, Wagner, Verdi the reverse obtained. Poulenc and Britten could do both.

- Ned Rorem, American composer

He was born in New York City in 1954 and studied at the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School and Princeton University. Before the age of 30, he had received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Tobias Picker is truly a man of the modern "multimedia" age: a "multimedia" composer who has written works that embrace virtually all musical genres.

Today he is considered one of the most important and most original American composers whose wide spectrum of works include 3 symphonies, 3 piano concertos as well as concertos for violin, viola, and oboe, song-cycles, a concerto for actor and orchestra ("The Encantadas" - music with a dramatic narrative based on Herman Melville's essays about the Galapagos Islands), and an extensive catalog of chamber music.

Prominent among his orchestral works is his widely-performed tone poem "Old and Lost Rivers." His Symphony No. 2 recently received its European premiere in a performance by the Munich Philharmonic under the baton of James Levine. His music is widely championed by today's most prominent conductors and soloists.

In the last decade, he has turned to the composition of opera. His first opera, Emmeline which was premiered by the Santa Fe Opera in 1996 and subsequently staged by the New York City Opera received international acclaim and was declared one of the 10 most significant musical events of the year by the New York Times. His second opera, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, premiered by the Los Angeles Opera in 1998 also received critical accolades. And today as the musical world eagerly awaits critical and popular judgment of Thérèse Raquin, he is busy at work on his fourth, An American Tragedy, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.

The unstoppable Tobias Picker! Is it any wonder that The New Yorker Magazine has called him "a genuine creator with a fertile, unforced vein of invention"?

Thérèse Raquin

About Tobias Picker

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