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 Sylvia McNair, Christine Schäfer, Ben Heppner, Joyce Castle and Kathleen Battle, for whom he played thirty-four concerts on four continents, and in March 2014, he co-conducted LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Seiji Ozawa in Tokyo and on tour in Japan. More recently, he led performances of CARMEN in January 2017 for Greensboro Opera and was at the helm for Massenet’s CENDRILLON in November ’19 for Westminster Choir College.
Maestro Taylor has been a member of the conducting staffs of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera, and has appeared with many American opera companies, including New York City Opera, where he made his debut in 2003 leading LA TRAVIATA, as well as those of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Wolf Trap and Central City. World premieres include the April 2009 production of Libby Larsen’s opera PICNIC for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In the early years as conductor, he was appointed music director by Beverly Sills of the New York City Opera National Company for two years, and 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. His most recent release, “Where Should This Music Be: Songs of Lola Williams” with Sarah Moulton Faux, arrived on New World Records in fall of ‘21.
Appearances by Mr. Taylor include the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival, and the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series, Castleton Festival, Newport Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, The Princeton Festival and Music Mountain. Among his cabaret venues are the Algonquin’s Oak Room, Feinstein’s, Café Carlyle, the Royal Room of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach with Sylvia McNair, and most recently, Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie with Joyce Castle. His recent recording with Sylvia McNair, “Subject to Change,” was highly praised by Downbeat Magazine.
As vocal coach and teacher, his students and clients regularly appear with the great performing organizations of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony, among many others.
Mr. Taylor’s earliest professional years in the music business were in Nashville, where his work as pianist, conductor and arranger for live shows and television production led to a five-and-a-half week tour of the Soviet Union with ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford in 1974. At the age of 22, he was named assistant music director for Opyland USA, the musical theme park, where he worked as leader/conductor/arranger in a wide variety of musical styles. 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 twenty-four years on the faculty of the Opera Program at Mannes School of Music in New York City, thirteen years with the Institute of Sacred Music and sixteen at the 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. He taught for nine years in University of Houston’s institute LE CHIAVI: THE KEYS TO BEL CANTO and served as master coach for eight years at CoOPERAtive of Westminster Choir College in Princeton. He is currently Music Director for Bel Canto Institute of San Miguel in Mexico, which is anticipating its eighth season.
A frequent adjudicator, he has judged the Connecticut, New York, Nebraska and Western Tennessee District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and this January judged the Boston Regionals. For four years Mr. Taylor coached and played the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Final Awards at the Met.
A native Texan, Mr. Taylor maintained an active studio in Manhattan as coach and teacher for 42 seasons and visits there monthly to work with his clients. He has recently happily relocated to Missouri to join his family.