Kyle Wiley Pickett, conductor of the North State Symphony, has announced that the 2013-14 season will be his final year with the North State Symphony, as well as his final year with his other current orchestra, the Juneau Symphony in Alaska. Pickett has been appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony in Missouri. Earlier this spring, he also accepted the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Topeka Symphony in Kansas. In both Springfield and Topeka, Pickett was selected from over 200 conductors from all over the world and was the top choice of both organizations.
Pickett stated in a press release this is a very bittersweet moment for him.
“Building the North State Symphony has been incredibly rewarding to me. We have been able to reach stunning artistic heights and accomplish more than I ever would have imagined when I first took on the Redding Symphony in 1998,” Pickett said. “We have seen our communities work alongside each other to keep orchestral music alive and thriving in the North State, while other orchestras all over the country faltered in the economic downturn of the last few years.”
“The success of the NSS the past 12 years is largely due to Dr. Pickett,” said Eugene Nichols, Chair of the North State Symphony Board of Directors said in response to the news. The orchestra loves him, our audience loves him, and the NSS Board members love him. We expected his talent would eventually take him from us. It's sad for us but we are thrilled he has this new opportunity.”
Pickett took the reins of the Redding Symphony in 1998 and the Chico Symphony in 2000. He then spearheaded the merger of the two symphonies to form the North State Symphony, a hybrid of professional musicians, music faculty, and top university students, jointly governed by boards of directors from community members in Redding and Chico as well as the administration of California State University, Chico’s College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Pickett shepherded the growth of the North State Symphony since its inaugural concert in September, 2001, working to ensure financial stability and musical excellence in this growing regional orchestra. In its first year, the North State Symphony played 8 performances of 4 concert sets in 2 cities. By its 10th anniversary in 2011-12, the North State Symphony had grown to 23 performances of 10 concert sets in 6 cities.
Pickett will assist the North State Symphony as they begin the process of conducting a search for his replacement. The NSS season begins Sept. 21 and 22 with Pickett conducting the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and other works. Pickett will conduct all four main subscription concerts in 2013-14 with the North State Symphony, and a guest conductor will conduct the holiday concert in December.