John Pickard is one of the leading British composers of his generation. His music has been performed by some of the world’s finest orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony and the Nagoya Philharmonic in Japan. In the UK, all the BBC Orchestras have performed his music and over 40 of his works have been commercially recorded.
John studied composition at the University of Bangor with William Mathias and at the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands with Louis Andriessen. He is currently Professor of Composition at the University of Bristol, where he has taught composition for almost 30 years. John has composed over 70 works, including six symphonies, six string quartets and much choral, vocal and instrumental music.
Recent premieres have included his Sixth String Quartet by the Alberni Quartet, his Mass in Troubled Times by the BBC Singers and a short orchestral piece commissioned by the BBC and played at the 2019 Proms by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. In 2021 his album of chamber music The Gardener of Aleppo, played by the Nash Ensemble, won the prestigious Gramophone Contemporary Award.
John’s new Clarinet Quintet Night-Spells, a MusicFest 2022 commission, will be given during the festival by David Campbell and the Sacconi Quartet.