James Taylor (tenor)

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James Taylor
Born1966 (age 56–57)
  • Classical tenor
  • Academic teacher
OrganizationYale University

James Taylor (born 1966 in Dallas) is an American tenor, known for singing the Evangelist in works of Johann Sebastian Bach.


James Taylor grew up in Houston. He studied singing with Arden Hopkin at the Texas Christian University. He continued his studies on a Fulbright scholarship at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Adalbert Kraus and Daphne Evangelatos.[1]

He has internationally appeared in Bach's cantatas and oratorios. He recorded the Easter Oratorio in 1994 with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe.[2] With the Gächinger Kantorei and Helmuth Rilling he recorded the St John Passion in 1996,[3] and the Christmas Oratorio in 2000.[4] He sang in Bach's Mass in B minor in Bamberg with Sir Roger Norrington, and in Haydn's Orlando Paladino with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.[5] In 2000 he performed the role of Neptune in the first modern revival of Giovanni Legrenzi's La divisione del mondo at the Schwetzingen Festival.[6]

In Taylor's first appearance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in Carnegie Hall in 2008 he was the Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion, singing with Matthias Goerne and Anna Larsson, among others. The review stated: "Above all, tying the story together, was James Taylor (no, not that James Taylor) as the Evangelist. Yes, his voice was radiant and resounding. More important was his dramatic turn of phrase, his moods from the extreme to the beatific, as he told – through a recitative which verged on aria – the story.".[7]

His debut in Carnegie Hall was in 2005 the world premiere of the Levine completion of Mozart's Great Mass in C minor with the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus and the Orchestra of St. Luke's conducted by Helmuth Rilling.[8] He performed Franz Schmidt's The Book with Seven Seals with the Cleveland Orchestra.[9]

In 2008 he recorded Britten's War Requiem with Annette Dasch, Christian Gerhaher and the Festivalensemble Stuttgart under Rilling.[10] The concert was performed at the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Musikfest of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and at the Beethovenfest in Bonn.[9]

In 2009 he appeared with the Gächinger Kantorei and the New York Philharmonic under Helmuth Rilling in Avery Fisher Hall in Handel's Messiah in 2009,[11] reviewed in the New York Times: "The tenor James Taylor performed with conviction and plenty of bite. ".[12]

Taylor has been a teacher at the Yale University from 2005.[10]

Selected recordings[edit]


  1. ^ James Taylor on the bach-cantatas website
  2. ^ Oster-Oratorium #13 on bach-cantatas
  3. ^ Edition Bachakademie Vol. 75 St. John Passion #73 on bach-cantatas
  4. ^ Christmas Oratorio #79 on bach-cantatas
  5. ^ James Taylor on the Gasteig website
  6. ^ Review: La divisione del mondo. 2000. pp. 10–11. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  7. ^ Masur and Transfiguration review of Harry Rolnick on concertonet, 22 March 2008
  8. ^ Mozart Mass: Chock Full o' Carnegie Archived 2009-10-06 at the Wayback Machine [Oregon Bach Festival]
  9. ^ a b James Taylor Kennedy Center
  10. ^ a b War Requiem Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine Interpreten (in German)
  11. ^ Messiah Archived 2010-03-06 at the Wayback Machine New York Philharmonic, 2009
  12. ^ A Period-Style Taste of a Holiday-Season Staple review by Vivian Schweitzer in The New York Times, 16 December 2009

External links[edit]