In his new book Musicophilia, renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks provides detailed accounts of people with peculiar aural afflictions in an effort to contribute to our understanding of music and further illustrate the workings of the human mind. One such case he uses to illustrate this purpose involves our own Tobias Picker. Though he lives with Tourette's Syndrome, Dr. Sacks notes that Mr. Picker can still write in every mode, and can shift between compositional styles with consummate ease. Mr. Picker tells Dr. Sacks that the syndrome has shaped his imagination, "I live my life controlled by Tourette's but use music to control it. I have harnessed its energy - I play with it, manipulate it, trick it, mimic it, taunt it, explore it, exploit it, in every possible way."
Please visit www.nytimes.com to read Michiko Kakutani's review of Musicophilia.
For more information on the music of Tobias Picker, visit www.schott-music.com or www.tobiaspicker.com.
Tobias Picker joins pianist Ursula Oppens on stage this month as the duo perform the New York premiere of Picker's Keys to the City in its two piano version. Originally composed for piano and orchestra in 1983, Keys to the City was commissioned by the City of New York in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. Picker performed as the pianist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at its festive world premiere after which the New York Times remarked that, "Keys to the City is an exuberant, celebratory evocation... eighteen minutes of irrepressible energy and cosmopolitan eclecticism." The performance is part of Ms. Oppens' recital at Steinway Hall which also includes works of Milhaud and Mozart.
Picker and Oppens have been working behind the scenes on another collaboration this year as Ms. Oppens performs all of the composer's solo piano works on a recording for the Wergo label, set for release in spring of 2008. A new publication from Schott of the composer's complete solo piano music will be available at the same time.
The New York Premiere of the two-piano version of Keys to the City will take place in New York's Steinway Hall, on October 15 at 6:30 PM.
Keys to the City (1983)
for two pianos
For more information on the music of Tobias Picker, please visit www.tobiaspicker.com and www.schott-music.com.