Music Director & Conductor
Valerie Taylor joined the LPO as Music Director in 2000. Under her leadership, the orchestra has continued to increase in size, musicianship, and number of collaborative performances.
Coming to music through the violin, Valerie Taylor has been pursuing the conductor's road since high school. She earned her master's and doctorate in conducting at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where she was a student of Frederik Prausnitz and served as his graduate assistant for three years. Summer conducting studies have taken her to the Pierre Monteux School in Maine, the seminar for conductors at Tanglewood, and the Conductors' Institute in West Virginia and South Carolina, where she worked with Harold Farberman. She has also been an active participant in several conducting workshops, under the tutelage of Gunther Schuller, Sergiu Comissiona, and other master conductors.
Ms. Taylor did her undergraduate work at Harvard, earning a degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures, in the meantime getting deeply involved in extracurricular music-making, putting together and conducting several ensembles for concerto performances-accompanying Lydia Artymiw, Yo-Yo Ma, and other soloists-and for opera and music theater. She was invited back to serve for two years as artist-in-residence at the House (South, now Cabot House), which had been hers as an undergraduate, to coordinate intramural music programs. The Slavic major, incidentally, proved very useful in Taylor's conducting study and performance in St. Petersburg in 1997 and 1998.
In addition to her violin background, Ms. Taylor brings to the podium experience in voice (private study, solo and chamber performance, and a year in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus) and music commentary, with a dozen bylines to her credit as a contributing writer for the Baltimore City Paper.
Previous conducting posts include a year leading the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, and four seasons with the Winona Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota. Ms. Taylor also directed the choir at Grace Presbyterian Church in Winona for seven years. She currently teaches conducting as an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music.