Susan Pickett

Catharine Chism Professor of Music, Emerita



Susan Pickett, violinist and musicologist, is a native of Los Angeles.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College, holds an M.M. degree from Indiana University in Violin Performance (High Honors), and a Ph. D. in Fine Arts (Musicology) from Texas Tech University. Her violin teachers included John Browning, Sr., James Buswell, Franco Gulli, and James Barber. Dr. Pickett joined the faculty of Whitman College in 1981. In 1996 she was appointed Catharine Gould Chism Professor of Music.

Elfrida Andrée's Concert-Ouverture, a work reconstructed from manuscript by Dr. Pickett, was performed in 1999 by the Swedish Broadcast Orchestra for Swedish television, and in 2014 was performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.   Dr. Pickett's book, Marion and Emilie Frances Bauer: From the Wild West to American Musical Modernism, is available from Lulu Press (click here for more information and to purchase).  Her research has been featured by the Associated Press, Chronicle of Higher Education, "Voice of America" numerous NPR stations, as well as a special segment on ABC's "Good Morning America." She retired in 2018 after thirty-seven years at Whitman and is now working on a biography of the composer Samuel Jones.

During the past twenty-five years, Dr. Pickett has uncovered the music of several hundred women composers from the 17th-20th centuries, collected over 50,000 pages of music by them, and she has published more than 40 editions of music by classical and romantic-era women (Hildegard Publishing Company and G.K. Hall).  She contributed three chapters to volume 8 of Women Composers: Music Through the Ages. With her ensemble, Donne e Doni (Women and Gifts), she performed over 50 recitals in the Northwest and California.  Donne e Doni released two CDs (privately), which include music by Isabella Leonarda, Anna Amalie, Clara Schumann, Marion Bauer, Amy Beach, Gwyneth Walker, Mathilde von Kralik, and Elfrida Andrée.  Gwyneth Walker composed An American Concerto for Dr. Pickett, which she premiered in 1996 with the Walla Walla Symphony; a CD recording of the work (live-performance) with the Mid-Columbia Symphony was released in 1997. In 2011 she and Dr. Manabu Takasawa (pianist) released a CD of music by Marguerite Canal, Amy Beach, Clara Schumann, and Elfrida Andrée.