Tyler Taylor (1992), a Louisville native, is a composer-performer who's work explores the different ways identity can be expressed in musical scenarios. Common among these pieces is a sense of contradiction – sometimes whimsical, sometimes alarming – that comes from the interaction of diverse musical layers. This expression of contradiction likely comes from his being a person of mixed race; being raised on hip hop and R&B while inheriting a European tradition of “classical art music” as his primary form of musical expression in spite of having little or no other cultural ties to Europe; and pursuing a career in a field that generally lacks representation of his demographic. 

Tyler has recently held fellowships at the National Orchestra Institute and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. During these residencies he had several works performed including two premieres and worked alongside Marin Alsop, Derek Bermel, Andreia Pinto Correia, and many other distinguished artists. His work has been recognized by awards including the BMI Student Composition Award (2019) and the Howard Hanson Ensemble Prize (2017, 2016), and has been featured during the University of Louisville Annual New Music Festival (2018, 2017, 2016) and the Midwest Composers Symposium (2019). His latest commissions include “Distill” for 18 players (2021) by the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, " you really wanna know...?" by the Louisville Orchestra (2021), and a piece for wind band commemorating the retirement of Curtis Essig from the Youth Performing Arts School to be premiered in the Spring of 2022. 

In addition to his composition, Tyler is an avid performer of contemporary music playing horn in many of his own works and those by his colleagues. He has honed his skill as a contemporary performer in groups such as the IU New Music Ensemble, Eastman’s Musica Nova, Ossia New Music, the University of Louisville New Music Ensemble, and more.

Tyler holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (Doctor of Music in  Composition with minors in music theory and horn performance), the Eastman School of Music (Master of Music in Composition and horn), and the University of Louisville (Bachelor of Music in Composition). His principal composition teachers include Tansy Davies, Aaron Travers, Don Freund, David Liptak, Robert Morris, Krzysztof Wołek, and Steve Rouse. His principal horn teachers include Dale Clevenger, Jeff Nelsen, W. Peter Kurau, Bruce Heim, Steve Causey, and Diana Morgen.

 Photo by Miggy Torres