Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Dr Martin Pickard

Visiting Lecturer

The conductor and pianist Martin Pickard is a member of Opera North. From 2008-2015 he was the company’s Head of Music.


Martin Pickard read Modern Languages at Cambridge where he was organ scholar of Corpus Christi College. He then studied conducting and piano at the Royal College of Music. After beginning his career in the opera houses of Kiel and Nuremberg he joined Opera North in 1989. At Opera North he has conducted more than two dozen productions including The Marriage of Figaro, Macbeth, Rigoletto, Carmen, Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Der Rosenkavalier, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Peter Grimes. He has also worked at English National Opera, the National Theatre, Theatre de Complicité and at festivals in Buxton, Bregenz and Perth (Western Australia). In 2003 he was assistant to Jiří Bělohlávek on the Glyndebourne production of Tristan und Isolde. Since then he has returned to Glyndebourne regularly as a senior coach and to assist conductors including Paolo Carignani and Vladimir Jurowski. He made his Glyndebourne conducting debut in 2005 with The Bartered Bride. Engagements abroad have included performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck and two one-act operas at the Les Azuriales Festival in Cap Ferrat, France. He has appeared with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Bochumer Symphoniker and Matav Symphony Orchestra (Budapest).

His translations of Russian operas have been performed by ENO and Opera North.

In 2012 he was awarded PhD by the University of Leeds for his research into the nineteenth-century German opera composer J. N. von Poissl.

PhD Thesis

The operas of J. N. von Poissl (1783-1865) : aesthetics and ideology (Leeds, 2012)


Professional Practice

Music staff, Kiel Opera House, 1980-1986.

Music staff, Nuremberg Opera House, 1986-1989.

Music staff, Opera North, 1989-present.

Head of Music, Opera North 2008-2015.

Opera translator: A Dog’s Heart (Raskatov) performed by ENO 2010; Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) performed by ENO 2011; The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky, with Neil Bartlett) performed by Opera North 2011 and by ENO 2015. Russian Operatic Arias (3 vols, Edition Peters).

Editor/Arranger: Three Verdi Opera Choruses (Faber Music).

Arranger: ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ and ‘Honey Pie’, in By Popular Request, ed. by R. Allwood (London: Novello, 2001).

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