The American tenor, James Taylor, was born in Dallas but grew up in Houston. He studied singing with Arden Hopkin at the Texas Christian University and graduated as Bachelor of Music Education in 1991. A Fulbright Scholarship enabled his attendance at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Adalbert Kraus and Daphne Evangelatos culminating in his graduation in 1993 with a master-class diploma.
From 1992 to 1994 James Taylor was a member of the opera studio at the Bayerische Staatoper. He has taken part in numerous concerts including J.S. Bach's passions, Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), Magnificat (BWV 243) and cantatas, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, Zoltán Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus, and Günther Biala's Oraculum. He has also made numerous appearances with the Gächinger Kantorei under Helmuth Rilling. Since the spring of 1995 he has been associated with the Stuttgart Opera.
With a repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century, James Taylor devotes much of his career to the oratorio and concert literature. He is one of the most sought after Evangelists in the works of J.S. Bach. For many years a resident of Germany, he has appeared on major concert stages of North and South America, Japan, Israel, and Europe, and in the great concert halls of Europe including Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Musikverein, and the Royal Albert Hall in London His North American highlights have included performances of Haydnís Die Schöpfung with the Cleveland Orchestra, W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and L.v. Beethovenís Missa Solemnis with the Nashville Symphony. He has also appeared at Oregon Bach Festival (1995-1998, 2003).
Recent (2003) European performances include the title role in George Frideric Handelís Jephtha with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt and at the Konzerthaus Berlin under Michael Gielen. Other recent highlights include W.A. Mozart's Betulia liberata with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna and Dresden; G.F. Handelís Messiah in Vienna with the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and with Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart; J.S. Bachís Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in Hamburg; and a tour of G.F. Handel's Solomon and Messiah with the RIAS-Kammerchor in France and Portugal; The Creation with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall; Benjamin Brittenís Horn Serenade in Linz and Ottawa; J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn in Bonn, Madrid and Barcelona; F. Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Herbert Blomstedt in Leipzig which was recorded for commerical release; W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; J.S. Bachís B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; a debut in Carnegie Hall in the world premiere of the Levine completion of W.A. Mozart's Mass in C Minor and performances of Franz Schmidt's The Book of the Seven Seals with the Cleveland Orchestra.
The 2006-2007 season included the W.A. Mozart's Mass in C-minor led by Helmuth Rilling for both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, James Taylorís debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in J.S. Bachís Magnificat (BWV 243) led by Bernard Labadie, and a return to Carnegie Hall for J.S. Bachís St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) led by Helmuth Rilling as part of the annual Carnegie Hall Choral Conductors Workshop.
Mr. Taylor began the 2007-2008 season in performances of J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and touring the B. Britten's War Requiem with Helmuth Rilling, appearing at the Rheingau Musikfestival, in Stuttgart, Leverkusen, and in Bonn at the Beethovenfest. Other engagements this season include G.F. Handel's Messiah with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He performs J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) with the Los Angeles Chorale at Walt Disney Hall, the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Kurt Masur for his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and sings Elijah with Helmuth Rilling and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. He also makes a return to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for B. Britten's Serenade for Tenor and Horn.
In May of 2005 The Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music announced the appointment of James Taylor in the Program in Early Music, Song, and Chamber Ensemble, as Associate Professor of Voice.
James Taylor can be heard on over 30 recordings. For Hänssler he has recorded Dvorak's Stabat Mater, and J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), Magnificat (BWV 243), St. John Passion (BWV 245) and G.F. Handelís Messiah with Helmuth Rilling. On the Harmonia Mundi label he has recorded J.S. Bachís Easter Oratorio, L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. F. Mendelssohn's Paulus under Philippe Herreweghe. New releases include W.A. Mozart's Requiem with Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra led by Andreas Delfs on Limestone Records, L.v. Beethovenís Missa Solemnis with the Nashville Symphony on the Naxos label, and the rarely heard Baroque opera Ariadne by Johann Georg Conradi with the Boston Early Music Festival led by Paul O'Dette on ArkivMusik.