Pickett and Munrow

Philip Pickett was a well-respected musician. However, in After Munrow a radio broadcast he tended to be "over-critical" about the achievements of David Munrow. This re-appears in an interview with him in Goldberg from which brief relevant extracts are presented here.


.....Pickett ofcourse went to the Guildhall School of Music there studying both the modern, and baroque trumpet. However, he also spent time "....moonlighting to the Royal Academy, where David Munrow was giving classes". It was there that he "...was playing with people like Don Smithers in Munrows Early Music Consort."

Apparently at the end of his first year at the Guildhall he got severely attacked on the underground, and this became a "big story" that made him well-known. Due to injuries to his mouth he was unable to play the trumpet which seems to have been his favourite instrument.

However, he still attended music classes, and had a number of friends who like him (at the time), and like Munrow were "....just raiding all the anthologies and not doing anything in the way of real research." Pickett also notably met Andrea van Ramm, and Thomas Binkley who had a "...rather more in-depth approach to medieval music."

Yet, apart from a more scholarly approach he seemed to realize the importance of the need for a degree of popularization, and "..dragging people.." in to hear early music concerts. Pickett amusingly describes Munrow as the "..funny little man who went red, and blew his cheeks out..." This created "excitement" which "...was no longer there; the personality had gone out of it." All this may seem "superficial" but at least it drew in crowds. Pickett has tried to emulate this but probably not with the same kind of razzmatazz as Munrow, and his Early Music Consort of London ofcourse...along with the "funfair of period instruments" as one journalist put it.


An Update of the Above/December 2015

It has come to my attention that Philip Pickett is in prison for rape. A link on his Wikipedia can give more information if anyone is interested. I originally heard about it on the radio somewhile ago.


As such one can a speak more freely about him especially in connection with Munrow.....

.....I met a couple in Windsor, and they claimed that they knew John Turner, a respected solicitor who was also a musician who had worked for the Early Music Consort of London. Apparently, he has also been collecting material for a brief memoir on Munrow from the members of his Consort, and possible other sources.

Anyway, the couple mentioned a comment they had heard. When Munrow had died it was claimed that Pickett said the following, "Good. Now, I can take his place." Clearly, no love lost!

More disturbingly, I came across a video on youtube in which Pickett's concert gave performances of Medieval Music. The main presenter was Michael Oliver who also happened to present Munrow's memorial programme.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, the BBC programme started with a "cartoon" from a Medieval manuscript  of a man attempting to sexually assault a young woman. Then, what followed was a famous song sung by a noted singer which was about a Medieval rape!!

New London Consort - Knights, Fools and Clerics/ March 1988

All this is sad....but at least before his downfall, Pickett did quite a large number of public presentations of Early Music...This is show on BBC Genome listing..



Popular posts from this blog

The Performance Practice of David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London : Medieval Music in the 1960s and 1970s

Overview of the Munrow Archive

Welcome to the Early Music Legend....