Friday, February 20, 2015

A Rapist at the Heart of London's Music World

Philip Pickett cut quite a figure in the early music revolution of the 1970s. In the intersecting acts of performing, teaching and selling the new doctrines of period practice, he was a trumpet player who took up the record, shawn and rackett, founding and leading ensembles and negotiating their contracts with major record labels. His recordings with the New London Consort were highly praised and commercially successful.

Pickett was also a professor at the Guildhall from 1972 and a social animal. Married successively to a singer and a harpsichord player, he was seen at openings and dinner parties with leaders of the classical music industry. Colleagues found him quiet, unobtrusive. Women we have spoken to report no difficulties, or any suspicion of abusive attitudes.

But Pickett was a rapist who used sound-proofed practise rooms at the Guildhall to overcome impressionable young students. He got away with it because the Guildhall wanted his fame and was prepared to believe him above the tears of its students.  (more...)

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