• Christopher Taylor piano

    Christopher Taylor, piano

    Hailed by critics as “frighteningly talented” (The New York Times) and “a great pianist” (The Los Angeles Times), Christopher Taylor has distinguished himself throughout his career as an innovative musician with a diverse array of talents and interests. He is known for a passionate advocacy of music written in the past 100 years — Messiaen, Ligeti, and Bolcom figure prominently in his performances — but his repertoire spans four centuries and includes the complete Beethoven sonatas, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and a multitude of other familiar masterworks. Whatever the genre or era of the composition, Mr. Taylor brings to it an active imagination and intellect coupled with heartfelt intensity and grace.

    Mr. Taylor has concertized around the globe, with the most recent international tours taking him to Korea, China, Singapore, Italy, and Venezuela. At home in the U.S. he has appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony. He recently toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, premiering Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Sea Orpheus with only six weeks of advance notice in which to learn it. As a soloist he has performed in New York’s Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls, in Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia and Aspen festivals, and dozens of other venues. In chamber settings, he has collaborated with many eminent musicians, including Robert McDuffie, Robert Mann, and the Borromeo, Shanghai, Pro Arte, and Ying Quartets. His recordings have featured works by Liszt, Messiaen, and present-day Americans William Bolcom and Derek Bermel. Apart from concertizing and recording, Mr. Taylor has undertaken various unusual projects. Recent examples include: programs featuring the music of John Adams and his musical predecessors (ranging from Gottschalk and Joplin through Nancarrow and Thelonious Monk); performances and lectures on the complete etudes of György Ligeti; and a series of performances of the Goldberg Variations on the unique double-manual Steinway piano in the collection of the University of Wisconsin. He has actively promoted the rediscovery and refurbishment of the latter instrument; over the past few years he has also been building a reinvented and modernized version of it, a project that relies on his computer and engineering skills and was premiered in October 2016.

    Numerous awards have confirmed Mr. Taylor’s high standing in the musical world, among them an American Pianists’ Association Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Bronze Medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, first prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, and an Irving Gilmore Young Artists’ Award.

    Mr. Taylor owes much of his success to several outstanding teachers, including Russell Sherman, Maria Curcio-Diamand, Francisco Aybar, and Julie Bees. In addition to his busy concert schedule, he currently serves as Paul Collins Associate Professor of Piano Performance at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He pursues a variety of other interests, including: mathematics (in which field he received a summa cum laude degree from Harvard University); philosophy (an article he coauthored with the leading scholar Daniel Dennett appears in the Oxford Free Will Handbook); computing; linguistics; and biking, which is his primary means of commuting. Mr. Taylor lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. Christopher Taylor is a Steinway artist.