Equally at home on the stage accompanying some of the world’s preeminent vocalists or in the pit conducting a broad repertoire of nearly forty operas and musicals, pianist and conductor TED TAYLOR enjoys a varied international career that reveals his passion for many different kinds of musicmaking.
As a pianist, Ted Taylor often accompanies well-known artists such as Sylvia McNair and Kathleen Battle. Among his most recent appearances are those with McNair performing for enthusiastic audiences and press in Vienna, Rome, London and Prague. He began the last season in recital with Kathleen Battle in Brazil, and later appeared with her in Royce Hall at UCLA. The same season saw him conducting Carmen for Syracuse Opera, Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica for S.U.N.Y. Purchase, Don Giovanni for the Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he served as Interim Director of the Opera Program, and The Nutcracker for Mobile (AL) Ballet, as well as appearing as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 with Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra in Mobile and guest artist at the New York Philharmonic with McNair.
His first professional conducting engagement was for the Radio City Music Hall touring production of Porgy and Bess. After serving two seasons as an assistant conductor at New York City Opera, a position he also held with the Santa Fe Opera and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he was asked to assist on the City Opera National Company tour and was named Music Director by Beverly Sills in 1986, resulting in his conducting performances of Rigoletto, Faust, Madama Butterfly, and Il barbiere di Siviglia across the country and in Canada.
Although Taylor’s background is that of a classically trained pianist and violinist, he began his professional career in Nashville, where his engagements included touring as pianist for “Tennessee” Ernie Ford and working at Opryland USA as staff arranger and show conductor. He subsequently earned a Master’s degree in conducting from the Indiana University School of Music, where he won an assistantship at the School’s acclaimed Opera Theater as assistant conductor; and in addition to his conducting classes with Wolfgang Vacano, Thomas Baldner, and Brian Balkwill, he studied harpsichord with Anthony Newman and accompanying with John Wustman.