Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances Score Study: America

Featuring: Lyndon Johnston Taylor and David Raiklen

America! We continue our score study by finishing the last section of West Side Story and looking at its stunning orchestration. We then look at one of the biggest hit songs from the show, America, including the forbidden Hollywood version! Our guest is Lyndon Johnston Taylor, principal second violinist with the LA Philharmonic. Lyndon offers a string player’s insights into West Side Story, and talks about the differences between the concert world and the session world where he has played on film scores like THE MATRIX with Don Davis.

Score study follows both the Broadway and concert versions of West Side Story, and is led by David Raiklen.

Violinist LYNDON JOHNSTON TAYLOR comes from a family of musical excellence. While his parents performed as duo pianists, he and his siblings concertized as the Taylor String Quartet, appearing extensively throughout the United States and abroad, including performances at over 50 colleges and universities, and on national radio and TV in Great Britain, Sweden, and Norway. While in secondary school, Taylor received training from America’s top string quartets.

Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and obtained graduate training in medicine and cell biology in preparation for a career in medical research. But after two years in an MD-PhD program, he recognized his passion for music and obtained a teaching position at the University of Redlands. He completed the Master of Music degree from California State University Northridge and the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the Juilliard School under the direction of Dorothy DeLay, where he received the Fritz Kreisler Scholarship. Taylor has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them the Coleman Chamber Music Award, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago Soloist Auditions, the Joseph Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Lipizer International Competition (Italy), and the 2000 Adventist Alumni Achievement Award for the Arts.

Taylor’s orchestral career began as concertmaster of both the Redlands and Riverside symphony orchestras. He was also a member of the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. From 2007-2011, Taylor served as Assistant Concertmaster for the New Zealand Symphony. He is now Principal Second Violin of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


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