Symphony No. 1

  • September 9, 1982
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Commissioned: Dr. and Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman for the San Francisco Symphony for its 1982-83 season, with additional support from Stanley Love; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fund Dedicated to Edo de Waart

Premiere: April 20, 1983; San Francisco Symphony; Edo de Waart, conductor  


Instrumentation: 3(3.pic).2.ca.2.bcl.3-, sus cym, h-h, chimes, glsp)-2hp.pno-str

Duration: 27’

Publisher: Schott Helicon Music Corporation (BMI)




The New York PostRobert Kimball

"Tobias Picker's 27-minute, two-part Symphony receiving its New York premiere, began with an emphatic Brahmsian flourish and continued in an unabashedly eclectic vein. It was the product of a young man absorbing, reflecting and transmuting the past while seeking to refine and develop his own artistic voice."



The Washington PostRoy Guenther

"Composer Tobias Picker was present for the Washington premiere of his 1982 Symphony, a dramatic work with a sense of logic that permeates the variety of its sonorities and developmental techniques. Picker's imaginative use of familiar idioms, as well as the orchestra's superlative performance, elicited the audience's warm enthusiasm."



San Francisco ChronicleRobert Commanday

"It's still possible to compose a piece that is really new and original, that plays well, sounds appealing, yet doesn't worry the listener about some far-out composition/performance procedure. Tobias Picker's Symphony...is such a work."


"...The Symphony follows the urgings of the work's generative ideas and the conscience, fantasy and logic of the composer. Picker has a wry, persistent personality, given as much to impulsive gesture as to intellectual rigor, and so does his Symphony."


"Its strength and quality are founded on Picker's harmonic control, a term not encountered much these days because so few composers have a real ear for harmony."


"...[Symphony] holds its course and the attention because the rhythm is so sure and integral. It shifts, it's fluid, but under the surface there's a continuous skein, so one can readily feel, for example, the syncopations and often subtle shifts."


"Picker cares about the quality of the sound, the sonority. He has a fine ear for the orchestra and makes it sound good. There are unique and radiant textures."


"De Waart and the [San Francisco Symphony] orchestra gave Picker's Symphony the expressive, well knit premiere performance it deserved."


For orchestra in two movements

3(3.pic).2.ca.2.bcl.3-, sus cym, h-h, chimes, glsp)-2hp.pno-str