Lucy Taylor, violist and violinist, is adjunct professor in viola at La Sierra University. Formerly principal violist of the Long Beach, Pacific, and Redlands symphonies, she currently is a member of the San Bernardino Symphony and an alternate player in both the viola and violin sections of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A member of the well-known Taylor Family String Quartet who has enjoyed a reputation as an accomplished performer since she was a child, Taylor performs frequently today as a free-lance musician and soloist.
Lucy started lessons at an early age, raised in the well-known musical family of Morris and Elaine Myers Taylor. Although active as a performing musician, Elaine made her role as mother the priority in her life. She nurtured Lucy and her three brothers both spiritually and musically, sparing no effort to be the best parent and teacher possible.
That dedication, with support and assistance from their father, created an atmosphere in the home where the children's musical gifts flourished. The children, who practiced a string instrument and piano daily for an hour each and rehearsed for a third hour as a string quartet, achieved at a remarkable level.
For several years, beginning in 1965, the precocious playing of the children and the excellence of their work as a string quartet stunned audiences and music critics alike. The Palo Alto Times described the response to the Taylor String Quartet, following a performance of the family for the annual conference of the Music Teachers' Association of California in 1971: "When 300 music teachers rise to give a performing group a standing ovation, the players can be sure they have received quite a tribute."
The quartet toured in the U.S., Europe, Poland, and Russia, playing in famous venues, at over fifty colleges and universities, and on national radio and TV in Great Britain, Sweden, and Norway to great acclaim. In 1975, while on tour in Europe with the New England Youth Ensemble, the quartet was invited at the last minute and without prior notice to play for a banquet in Poland being held during a visit by President Gerald Ford with the Polish Premier. Even though they did not have their music, they and a NEYE harpist performed for two hours from memory during the meal and were each thanked personally at the end of the meal by Ford.
In the late 1970s Elaine took a three-week tour with her children, traveling as The Taylor String Quartet, from California to Texas, to Mexico, and then to Washington, D.C. At the University of Monterey, the audience responded to their concert with a prolonged standing ovation, shouts of bravo, and a cascade of flowers on the stage. This would be the last tour the group made with their mother, who died in a car accident in 1978.
The Taylor Quartet has continued to the present in name, staffed by talented musicians as well as the Taylor children, when possible. Lucy last performed with the quartet in 2009.
Taylor completed a B.Mus.and an M.Mus. at Andrews University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. She was a graduate assistant at Michigan State University, where she completed all course work towards a D.M.A., and was also a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. At LSU since 2003, Taylor previously taught at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico; the University of California, Riverside; and Loma Linda University. She was Host and Artistic Director for the International Viola Congress when it was held at Redlands University in 1989.
As a member of the Taylor String Quartet and on a personal level she has been influenced and taught by William Primrose, Lillian Fuchs, Samuel Rhodes, the Fine Arts, Juilliard, and Guarneri string quartets. She studied for three summers at the Aspen Music Festival with Dorothy Delay and her assistants as a Fellowship Recipient, while playing as principal violist. She has received several awards, including the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and the Joseph Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and is listed in Who's Who among Women of America.
A frequent recitalist, Taylor has given countless programs in notable venues in the U.S., Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Sources: Biographies at La Sierra University (2013) and in printed program notes; Atlantic Union Gleaner, 11 December 1973, 5; Dorothy Minchin-Com and Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, Encore!, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1984, 66.