The music of Benjamin Dean Taylor (born 1983), has been described as “elegant and energetic” (Kenneth Thompson) and “powerful and direct with delightful surprises in each work.” (Marilyn Shrude) Having grown up as a performer in jazz, rock, ska, country, and concert bands as well as in choirs and orchestras, Taylor is driven to write music that highlights the strengths of each performing ensemble. His catalog of more than 100 works covers a large range of styles and genres including music written for orchestra, wind band, opera, choir, jazz big band, gamelan, chamber ensembles, and soloists with live electronics. Further, Taylor has written music for multimedia collaborations with dancers, filmmakers, poets, and visual artists.
Taylor has received commissions from ensembles including the Calidore String Quartet, Omaha Symphony, Solaire Saxophone Quartet, New World Youth Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Wind Symphony. His music has been performed by ensembles around the world including the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Kenari Quartet, L’ensemble Itineraire, Nurnberg Hochschulorchester and has been championed by soloists Keith Kirchoff, Zach Herchen, and Scotty Stepp. As a sought-after composer for wind band, Taylor has been commissioned by over 100 band directors of players at all educational levels.
Recently named a recipient of a commission from the Barlow Endowment, Taylor’s prizes and honors include Winner in the 2013 Ticheli Composition Contest, a grant from the Indiana Arts Council (2015), Dean’s Prize in Composition from Indiana University (2013), BMI Student Composers Award (2011), Winner in the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings (2012), and an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award (2011). His music has received performances at festivals including the College Band Directors National Association Conference, Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States National Conference, Society of Composers National Conference, International Society of Bassists Conference, International Double Reed Society Conference, Scandinavian Saxophone Festival, and international jazz festivals in Edinburgh, Marlborough and Birmingham. His compositions have been featured on the radio and television including NPR’s “Says You.”
Benjamin Taylor completed a doctorate degree from Indiana University and holds degrees from Bowling Green State University (MM) and Brigham Young University (BA). His principal teachers have included David Dzubay, Don Freund, Claude Baker, Jeffrey Hass, Marilyn Shrude, Elaine Lillios, Christian Asplund, Neil Thornock, and Steven Ricks. When not composing, Taylor can be found playing in his Dixieland jazz band, leading community bucket drumming groups, hiking, running, cooking, and camping with his family. Explore his music at http://benjamintaylormusic.com/