Jean-Claude Picard is widely regarded as a communicative and engaging conductor by fellow artists, critics and audiences alike.
Building a strong reputation as a collaborative and dedicated conductor, his performances are known to be elegant, dynamic and carefully crafted, gaining appreciation and interest from both experienced and new audiences, and as a result he returns regularly to many of the orchestras he has conducted so far, both in Europe and in North America.
Jean-Claude’s background as a flautist has given him invaluable experience from inside the orchestra and he has performed internationally with orchestras ranging from the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra to l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Les Violons du Roy.
In his native Canada he conducts orchestras such as the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Quebec Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, National Arts Centre and Victoria Symphony as well as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and I Musici.
In Europe, Jean-Claude has enjoyed successful return visits to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Manchester Camerata, a critically acclaimed debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Porto Symphony Orchestra Casa da Música, Leipzig Symphony, Pärnu City Orchestra and Red Note Ensemble.
In 2015, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra announced Jean-Claude’s promotion to the position of Associate Conductor, the first in the modern history of the organisation, reflecting the detailed quality of his work and the meaningful relationship with the members of the orchestra built during his tenure as Assistant Conductor.
Over the last few years, he has formed a close relationship with the Scottish Ballet where he will now return for a fifth time to conduct several productions including Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” (Hampson). Previously, the company saw great success and critical acclaim touring a Stravinsky double bill featuring Hampson’s Le Sacre du printemps and MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée with Jean-Claude as conductor.
Composers closest to Jean-Claude’s heart include Nielsen, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Ravel, Beethoven and Debussy. Equally at ease with contemporary music, he has premiered and recorded works by Canadian and British composers such as Kelly-Marie Murphy, Ned Bigham, Rory Boyle and Oliver Searle, and collaborated closely with Brett Dean during the first edition of the RSNO’s Composers’ Hub.
The 2018/19 season sees Jean-Claude return to Symphony Nova Scotia, Victoria Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, a world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival with Scottish Ballet as well as a national tour, a debut with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, with I Musici, and a North American premiere and tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens where he will conduct both Les Grands Ballets Canadiens Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.