David Pickard studied Music at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge before starting his career at the Royal Opera House. In his early career, David worked at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park and was the Assistant Director for the Japan Festival before becoming Sir John Drummond’s deputy at the European Arts Festival. In 1993 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment where he significantly increased the orchestra’s artistic reputation and international profile, helping to establish the OAE as the pre-eminent period instrument orchestra in the world. In 2001 he was made General Director of Glyndebourne Festival where throughout his tenure he created an extensive digital programme including online streaming, big screen and cinema relays and broadened the company’s audience base through specially priced performances for young people and a pioneering education programme.
In November 2015, David took up the role of Director of the BBC Proms. New initiatives for his first Proms season include an innovative series called Proms at … which will explore music in new spaces around London including the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe and the Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park in Peckham. Passionate about bringing new audiences to classical music and identifying and nurturing emerging talent, David has also made youth music-making and youth audiences a major focus at the 2016 Proms. Initiatives this year include two Proms devoted to the BBC’s Ten Pieces II project, a series of weekend matinee concerts aimed at family audiences, and a Last Night of the Proms where young musicians will be put centre stage.