TOBIAS PICKER (b 1954 )
in New York in 1954, Tobias Picker studied at Manhattan with Charles Wuorinen,
at Jiulliard with Elliott Carter and at Princeton with Milton Babbitt. He had
experience as a pianist for Martha Graham, soon earning a reputation for
himself as a composer. His earlier works are predominantly in the form of
chamber music, although by the 1980s he was tackling larger scale works,
developing a language that combined elements of serialism with the tonal.
orchestral music includes three piano concertos, three symphonies and concertos
for violin and for viola. His ambitious Symphony No.2 Ausshnung written for
the Houston Symphony, is in seven movements, the final one culminating in the
tonal setting of a poem by Goethe, Ausshnung (Reconciliation), which
summmarises the mood and the technicque of the work. It was completed in 1986.
has written a quantity of chamber music, often for less usual combinations of
instruments. His String Quartet No.1, New Memories, was commissioned to
celebrate the hundredth birthday of the artist Georgia OKeeffe, who died in
1986 before the work was completed. The six movements draw inspiration from
OKeeffes work and from New Mexico, with strains of the chant of the lay order
of Penitentes recalled.