Christopher Taylor, piano
Taylor's expansive concerto repertoire which runs from Bach to Vaughan Williams, includes the Lutoslawski Concerto which he recently performed with the Milwaukee Symphony to very strong press: "precise playing and interpretive conviction....Taylor's performance was commanding, fiercely punctuated and full of physical power." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Following his thoughtful programming compass, Christopher Taylor is involved in several fascinating projects - from the Bach Goldberg Variations performed on a unique dual-manual Steinway, to the complete Messiaen "Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant Jesus", currently in DVD release. A list of his engagements in the last two seasons includes performances for such distinguished venues and series as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Chamber Music Society, Spivey Hall, the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, the Ravinia Festival, Caramoor Festival, Duke University, Columbia University, La Jolla Music Society, Stanford University, Music Academy of the West, Voices of Change in Dallas, the University of Chicago, the University of California at Davis and the University of California at Berkeley. In addition he is frequently tapped for concerto repertoire from Liszt and Beethoven to Gershwin and Ullman.
At home in the U.S. he has appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Symphonies of Colorado, Detroit, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, the Boston Pops. Mr. Taylor has toured North America with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. And with Orpheus, he has toured the premiere performances of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' "Sea Orpheus", including an appearance at Carnegie Hall about which the New York Times wrote "Christopher Taylor gave a brilliant, energetic account".
During the recent "Hope From Despair" project Taylor gave two performances of the Viktor Ullman Piano Concerto and the Concertino by Wladyslaw Szpilman with the Colorado Symphony. About the Ullman, The Denver Post wrote: "Taylor, a versatile, ready-for-anything soloist, delivered a brilliant, intense performance, adroitly handling the pounding, sometimes repetitive passagework of the opening movement. He then showed a totally different side, bringing a suave elegance to Wladyslaw Szpilman's surprisingly upbeat Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, a kind of Polish "Rhapsody in Blue."
While Taylor has a well-earned reputation for his exquisite performances of Bach and his exciting performances of romantic piano concertos, he has captured the attention of the music world with his recent tour de force programming of Olivier Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus. "Before a rapt audience at the Miller Theater on Saturday night, Mr. Taylor, a lanky 31-year-old pianist who graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Harvard, gave an astonishing performance of Messiaen's complete "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus," more than two hours of some of the most complex and difficult music ever written for the piano. And he played the 176-page score from memory."
Christopher Taylor was honored with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is the winner of the Kapell Competition, the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and the Bronze Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition. He records for the JonathanDigital label.
Christopher Taylor's Biography
Concerto Repertoire List
"a lot of one's appreciation of the score had to do with the gutsy authority with which Eschenbach and Taylor threw themselves into the swing rhythms. A two-fisted talent with lightning reflexes, Taylor made one eager to hear his [upcoming] Ravinia solo recital..."[Bernstein: "Age of Anxiety" with the Chicago Symphony]
"precise playing and interpretive conviction....Taylor's performance was commanding, fiercely punctuated and full of physical power." [Lutoslawski Piano Concerto, Milwaukee Symphony] Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Christopher Taylor, the superb soloist, brought a deep focus and ease to the outer movements' ebb and flow and a fierce dexterity to the middle section, "Edgy," a bustling workout that recalled music by Prokofiev and Raymond Scott." [Sebastian Currier Concerto]
New York Times
"the best performance I have ever heard of [Schumann's] Piano Concerto ... absolutely propulsive in its energy. Taylor stepped on the gas and delivered a sharp, driven performance that proved irresistible... showed how beneath the arch-Romantic surface, Schumann had a thorough command of Classical-era techniques."
Well Tempered Ear
"Mr. Taylor is more typically heard in heavier repertory, from Liszt to Messiaen and Pierre Boulez, and this concerto seemed easy work for him. In the fast outer movements, especially, the solo line was clean, bright and crisply articulated, and it danced off the page." [Haydn Piano Concerto in D (Hob. XVIII:11)]
New York Times
"...after two hours at the keyboard, Taylor had become a wild man in the thrall of a great vision, seemingly possessed of superhuman powers. Clearly forces beyond the normal were at play."
Los Angeles Times
"Taylor was absolutely knock-me-over brilliant in Witold Lutosławski’s very challenging Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, composed in 1987 [with the Milwaukee Symphony]
"...astounding rhythmic precision, combined with a distinctive and amazing sense of tone."
"Christopher Taylor, a versatile, ready-for-anything soloist, delivered a brilliant, intense performance"
Goldberg Aria Excerpt
Goldberg 9 Excerpt
Bach Goldberg Variations at the Met
Liszt/Beethoven 5th Symphony Allegro
Dual-Manual at the Kennedy Center Video
Feinsmith: Place (from ELOHIM)