Author Topic: Rowan Taylor  (Read 3650 times)

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Rowan Taylor
« on: March 03, 2012, 02:50:41 PM »
Looking for informations about how much symphonies Segerstam had written, I bumped into this line in the Wikipedia :

As a composer, he is known especially for his numerous symphonies. He will almost certainly soon hold the world record in the number of symphonies ever composed, currently at 253 as of January 2012[1] (the record holder is Rowan Taylor, who composed 265)

And then I began to look for more information, but there's no article in the Wikipedia. I  found only this

Taylor gained the distinction of being the most prolific living composer in 1995 after completing a stunning 265 symphonies, 46 concertos, 2,502 songs, 250 chamber works and hundreds of other compositions, including opera, choral works, ballets and solo works. He was on the faculty at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California for 39 years and lived in Whittier, California.

Last year Taylor was one of the participants in the groundbreaking anthology Mormoniana and has been known throughout his career for his support of Mormon classical music. Examples include an oratorio Coriantumr, a sacred cantata, O God, Where Art Thou?, and a full-length pageant, San Bernardino.

+ one of the posted comments :

I took a look in searching their extensive database of currently-available classical recordings and didn’t turn up a thing. I just typed in his name, and nothing.

So where has he been all these years, you think with a catalog of works like that something somewhere would have been recorded or performed. I can’t recall hearing anything by him on classical radio either. 

and nothing else... His website is closed, subsequently to his death I guess, and when I googlize "Rowan Taylor" I get many answers about many different "Rowan Taylor", but none is the right one. I cannot even find his birth and death dates. All I know is that he was American, and probably a Mormon.

Has anybody heard about this strange composer, who wrote 265 symphonies of which none have been recorded (and apparently not even played) ?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 02:55:50 PM by kentel »


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Re: Rowan Taylor
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 03:11:56 PM »
A few more facts at

He studied composition with Leroy Robertson, Leon Dallin, Carl Fuerstner, Crawford Gates, Lukas Foss and John Vincent. His original works include an oratorio (Coriantumr), a sacred cantata, (O God, Where Art Thou?), an opera (The Birthmark, after Nathaniel Hawthorne), a full-length pageant (San Bernardino), a ballet (Poetry And Penny Candy) for Virginia Tanner’s Children’s Dance Theater, 46 concerti for various instruments, 10 rhapsodies, more than 1700 Bagatelles for piano solo, 2455 songs, and 258 symphonies. A world record was established in June 1995. Also, over 250 chamber works, and hundreds of other compositions and arrangements. His music has been performed on six continents. His works have been performed by the National High School Orchestra and The National College Orchestra (Interlochen, Michigan), The Burbank Symphony, The New Valley Symphony Orchestra, The Rio Hondo Orchestra, The Brentwood/Westwood Symphony Orchestra, The Seventh Division Band (in Korea and Japan), The Pierce College Symphonic Winds, The All Southern California MIA Festival Orchestra

I got the dates too : born 1927 and died 2005 (California, both).

Offline jennientaylor

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Re: Rowan Taylor
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 06:38:17 PM »
Rowan Shaw Taylor is my grandfather. He passed away in 2005. He has scores available in Brigham Young University's library, that I will have to go take a look at it. His works have been performed at Brigham Young University and the majority in Southern California. My mother, a professional soprano, sang one of his works at one point in my childhood. I am not sure if Grandpa ever promoted his work. I spoke with an elderly lady around Christmas who when I mentioned Grandpa's name said that she had gone to a performance of his work at Brigham Young University back when she was a student there. Grandpa sent cards for Christmas, Mother's Day, and Father's Day most years with an original composition. Great question about whether his works have been recorded. I am sure there are recordings. He is survived by his wife Priscilla who has his library of his works. I don't know a lot of his work, but his arrangement of Away in a Manger is definitely my favorite arrangement of that song. Having served in the Korean War, as author Chaim Potok's chaplain's assistant, the few pieces of his work that I am familiar with is very Korean influenced. This is encouraging me to learn more about Grandpa's work and life. Thankfully, he kept a daily journal for most of his life, so it shouldn't be too hard to learn more. Feel free to email me if you have questions, I'll do my best to find out the answers.