Born in Manhattan, NY
Accepted at the Juilliard Preparatory Division for studies in piano and theory.
Enters the Manhattan School of Music for composition studies with Charles Wuorinen, orchestration with John Corigliano. Also studies violin, cello and voice.
Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.
"Sextet No. 3" premiered by Speculum Musicae in Alice Tully Hall.
Receives BMI Student Composers Award.
First national critical acclaim for premiere of "Rhapsody for Violin and Piano"
Receives Masters Degree of Music from the Juilliard School
Awarded the Bearns Prize (Columbia University)
Invited to attend Princeton University for further graduate studies in composition with Milton Babbitt.
"Nova",a companion piece to the Trout Quintet premiered.
Awarded first of two fellowhsips from The National Endowment for the Arts.
Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship.
"Violin Concerto", first major commission, premiered and recorded by the American Composers Orchestra.
Second National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship awarded.
"Symphony No. 1" premiered by the San Francisco Symphony, Edo de Waart, conductor, and performed on tour in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Piano Concerto No. 2: "Keys to the City" premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Lukas Foss, conductor and Tobias Picker, soloist.
"The Encantadas" premiered by the Albany Symphony — later recorded by Sir John Gielgud, with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Houston Symphony for Virgin Records.
Nonesuch Records commissions "Serenade for Piano and Winds".
Charles Ives Scholarship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Composes first song, "Aussöhnung" on text of Goethe for soprano Judith Bettina
Appointed as the first Composer-in-Residence to the Houston Symphony, serves through 1990.
"Symphony No. 2: Aussöhnung" for soprano and orchestra, premiered by the Houston Symphony, Sergiu Comissiona conducting.
Composes his tone poem, "Old and Lost Rivers".
Premiere of "String Quartet No. 1: New Memories" commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Georgia O'Keefe.
Composer-in-Residence, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center commissions "String Quartet with Bass". Premiered with composer conducting.
"Symphony No. 3", Houston Symphony commission, is premiered with David Zinman conducting.
Composes "Romance and Interludes" at Christoph Eschenbach's suggestion, for the Houston Symphony and their principal oboist, Robert Atherholt; based on Robert Schumann's "Three Romances, Opus 94".
"Two Fantasies" for orchestra premiered by Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and performed on tour.
"Bang!" for piano and orchestra commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for their 150th anniversary year. Premiere conducted by Kurt Masur.
Wins the Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Music
"The Rain in the Trees" for soprano, flute and orchestra, based on poems of W.S. Merwin, is premiered by Lorin Maazel conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Also performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera.
"And Suddenly It's Evening" premiered, inspired by a poem of Salvatore Quasimodo. Commissioned by a consortium of six youth orchestras.
Composer-in-Residence at the Pacific Music Festival, founded by Leonard Bernstein, in Sapporo, Japan.
"Emmeline", an opera in two acts with libretto by J.D. McClatchy, receives its world premiere at the Santa Fe Opera.
"Four Etudes for Ursula" commissioned by Northwestern University is premiered by Ursula Oppens, Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood Festival.
National television premiere of "Emmeline" on PBS' Great Performances.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox", his second opera, premiered by the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.
New York City Opera premiere of "Emmeline" garners international critical acclaim
Premiere of "Suite for Cello and Piano" by Lynn Harrell, commissioned by a consortium including the Ravinia Festival; the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Wolf Trap Foundation, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Ursula Oppens gives the European premiere of "Four Etudes for Ursula" in Berlin
European premiere of "Symphony No. 2: Aussöhnung", Munich Philharmonic, James Levine conducting.
World Premiere of "Tres sonetos de amor" for soprano and piano, with Judith Bettina and James Goldsworthy.
World premiere of "Thérèse Raquin",The Dallas Opera
World premiere of the "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra" at the BBC Proms.
Canadian Premiere of "Thérèse Raquin" (in French translation) at L'Opera de Montreal.
World Premiere of "Tres sonetos de amor", Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Carl St. Clare, conducting, Nathan Gunn, baritone.
West Coast Premiere of "Thérèse Raquin" at San Diego Opera.
European Premiere of "Tres sonetos de amor", Strasbourg Philharmonique.
"The Encantadas" widely performed throughout the US (twentieth anniversary of the work).
The "Blue Hula" European Premiere, Christoph Eschenbach, L'Orchestre de Paris.
Premiere of "An American Tragedy" at the Metropolitan Opera.
Premiere of the chamber version of "Thérèse Raquin" at the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.
American premiere of the chamber version of "Thérèse Raquin" at the Dicapo Opera Theatre of New York.
Wergo releases "Tobias Picker - Keys to the City", an album of the composer's piano music featuring pianist Ursula Oppens.
Word premiere of "String Quartet No. 2" by the American String Quartet at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.
Ursula Oppens premieres "Four Etudes for Ursula" and "Three Nocturnes for Ursula" at Baisly Powell Elebash Recital Hall in New York City.
Rambert Dance Company tours Tobias Picker’s new ballet "Awakenings"
Opera Holland Park premieres "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in new chamber version.
"Piano Quintet "Live Oaks"" debuts at Da Camera Houston with pianist Sarah Rothenberg and the Brentano String Quartet.
Tobias Picker elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
San Francisco Opera presents the world premiere of "Dolores Claiborne", directed by James Robinson and conducted by George Manahan with a libretto by J.D. McClatchy.
Glimmerglass Festival premieres revised version of "An American Tragedy", directed by Peter Kazaras and conducted by George Manahan.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" in new production at Opera San Antonio, directed by Erica Olden, followed by a semi-staged performance with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera
Tzadik Records releases "Invisible Lilacs: Chamber Music 1976-2011"
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis mounts major revival of "Emmeline", directed by James Robinson and conducted by George Manahan.
New joint production of "Thérèse Raquin" presented by Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theatre
Picker's "Opera Without Words" debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra, led by Christoph Eschenbach.
Picker appointed Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera