Philip Pickett

Biography

Born: November 17, 1950; London, England  
Philip Pickett is one of the leading ensemble directors in the London early music movement, and is also a highly regarded virtuoso player of the recorder. He became interested in early music while still in his teens through contact with two of the leaders of a generation of "period instrument" musicians, David Munrow and Anthony Baines. Pickett learned to play a variety of Baroque and earlier wind instruments, including the recorder, crumhorn, Read more racket, and shawm.

He became noted as a player before he turned 20. At the age of 21 he became Professor of Recorder in 1972 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as post he retained for 25 years. Throughout the '70s he had continuing and growing success as a solo and ensemble early wind instruments player, in the meantime developing his scholarly interests and skills.

He began forming his own ensembles and in 1981 founded the New London Consort, which soon became known for its razor-sharp musical execution and its performances that were informed not only as regards performance practice, interpretation, and embellishment, but the political, cultural, and educational context of the eras relating to the music on their programs. Pickett's point of view tends towards the freer side of Early Music interpretation. That is, from what is definitely known about performances in a given repertory, he and his ensembles make what they consider reasonable extrapolations so long as they are not contradicted by what is known. (Another school of early music performance confines itself to doing what is known to have been done during the era.) Pickett, therefore, organizes performances that tend to be colorful in instrumentation, ornamentation; use period percussion, speculating for some rhythmic decisions; and be lively, often improvisatory, in performance.

Another characteristic of Pickett's ensembles stems from his recognition of the primacy of the voice during most of the eras in his area of expertise. Accordingly, he maintains close relationships with a core group of singers who often perform in his concerts, artists including Catherine Bott, Michael George, Andrew King, Tessa Bonner, Belinda Sykes, Olive Simpson, Simon Grant, and many others.

In the 1980s Pickett had particular success in the City of London Festival and in 1988 was appointed artistic director of the South Bank Summerscope Festival of Medieval and Renaissance Music. In 1994 he became the director of Musicians of the Globe, the resident music organization of London's reconstructed Globe Theatre.

Pickett has made numerous recordings on the Decca/L'oiseau-Lyre and Linn labels both as a soloist and a leader of ensembles. These include a widely praised set of interpretations of the famous Carmina Burana medieval manuscripts, theatrical CDs such as Monteverdi's Orfeo and Blow's Venus and Adonis, music related to Shakespeare, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Elizabethan and Jacobean music, Biber's Requiem, and numerous other works mostly of the Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque eras. Read less
Browse 1-10 of 10 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 2.
    Cadfael - Music from the TV Series
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37086 Release Date: 01/04/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Colin Towns,  Anonymous
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort,  Clerkes of St. Albans Abbey
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 3.
    The Decca Sound - Highlights
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001620002 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Béla Bartók,  Benjamin Britten,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Franco Capuana,  István Kertész,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
    On sale! $37.99
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    $34.99
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  • 4.
    Vivaldi Masterworks [28 Disc Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001599302 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Rohan de Saram,  Franco Gulli,  Salvatore Accardo,  Bruno Canino  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Philip Pickett,  Simon Preston,  Paul Dyer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  I Musici,  New London Consort  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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  • 5.
    Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore / Philip Pickett
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 001047502 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius
    Performer:  Kenneth Hamilton,  Stephen Saunders,  Paul Nieman,  Richard Cheetham  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 6.
    Gabrieli In Venice / London Brass
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 40823 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Lodovico da Viadana,  Biagio Marini,  Tiburtio Massaino  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass
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    CD: $8.99
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  • 7.
    Vivaldi: Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460950 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Anner Bylsma,  Anthony Pleeth,  Michel Piguet,  Monica Huggett  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Philip Pickett,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  New London Consort  ... 
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 8.
    Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 Mandolins, Etc / Pickett, Hogwood
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 455703 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Monica Huggett,  Susan Sheppard,  Elizabeth Wilcock,  Catherine Mackintosh  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Joshua Rifkin,  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Bach Ensemble,  New London Consort
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Vivaldi: Gloria, Motets, Cantatas / Preston, Kirkby, Et Al
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 455727 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Catherine Bott,  Christopher Hogwood,  Catherine Mackintosh,  Simon Standage  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett,  Christopher Hogwood,  Simon Preston
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir
    CD: $19.99
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  • 10.
    Sinners & Saints / Pickett, New London Consort
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 448559 Release Date: 07/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Alfons X (El Sabio),  Andreas Ansalone,  Michael Praetorius
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
    CD: $17.99
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