Equally at home in the pit conducting a repertoire of over 50 operas and musicals, on the stage accompanying some of the world's pre-eminent vocalists or appearing in the country’s top cabaret venues, TED TAYLOR enjoys a varied international career. As pianist he has appeared with such luminaries as Kathleen Battle, Sylvia McNair, Ben Heppner and Christine Schäfer, and he has just conducted the world premier in April 2009 of Libby Larsen’s opera PICNIC for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Maestro Taylor has appeared with many American opera companies, including those of New York City Opera, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Wolf Trap and Central City, and he has been a member of the conducting staffs of the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Appointed music director by Beverly Sills of the New York City Opera National Company for two years, he served in the same capacity for Mobile (Alabama) Opera for eight seasons.
Praised in the New York Times as a “sophisticated and unusually sensitive accompanist” (with Jan Opalach) whose “playing had a full lusciousness ideal for Strauss” (with Christine Schäfer), as well as for his cabaret appearances (“one of the best in the business,” raves Associated Press), Mr. Taylor has appeared over the years with many wonderful singers, among them the legendary Eileen Farrell, whose CBS cable show for which he was pianist ran the musical gamut from lieder to blues. As a pianist in master classes, he has worked with such great artists as Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Regine Crespin and Carlo Bergonzi. On CD, he may be heard as harpsichord soloist with Seiji Ozawa in the Philips recording of Stravinsky's THE RAKE'S PROGRESS and as pianist with Sylvia McNair in a disc of Gershwin songs on BBC Worldwide, live from London's Wigmore Hall.
Appearances by Mr. Taylor include the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival, and Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series, Newport Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest and Music Mountain. Among his cabaret venues are the Algonquin’s Oak Room, and most recently the Royal Room of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.
Mr. Taylor’s earliest professional years in the music business were in Nashville, where his work as pianist, show conductor and arranger led to an extensive tour of the Soviet Union with ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford in 1974. Following graduate studies in conducting and opera at Indiana University, he began his coaching career with Santa Fe Opera, subsequently moving to New York, where he soon joined the music staff of New York City Opera.
In the field of contemporary opera, Mr. Taylor served as assistant to Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun for the premiere of his first opera, MARCO POLO, at the Munich Biennale and prepared the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic orchestras for subsequent performances. For New York City Opera, he led excerpts of new works for the company's Showcasing American Composers series.
As an educator, in addition to his eleven years on the faculty of the Opera Program at Mannes College THE NEW SCHOOL For Music in New York City and his four years with the Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music at Yale University, he has been invited to guest conduct at such prestigious music schools as Indiana University, where he led the university premier of Mark Adamo's LITTLE WOMEN, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, conducting Rossini's IL VIAGGIO A REIMS, awarded first place in its category in the National Opera Association Competition. This summer he will return for his fourth year as master coach for CoOPERAtive at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. A frequent adjudicator, he has judged the Connecticut, New York and Western Tennessee District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
A native Texan, he makes his home in Manhattan, where he maintains an active studio as coach and teacher.