Emma Taggart is a fifteen-year-old classically trained pianist who is on her way to becoming a world renowned concert pianist. She has already won several competitions, both locally and internationally, taken master classes with legendary pianists, such as Nelita True and Oxana Yablonskaya, attended festivals in both the United States and Europe, and played with several orchestras.
Emma started lessons at age four with Mary Carloni. After a year, she was referred on to Juilliard graduate, Dr. Reid Smith, with whom she currently studies. Emma gave her first solo recital at the age of six. She has won several awards and competitions, including 1st place in the Thursday Musical competition (2016), 1st place in the Great Composers International Competition (2016), 1st place in the MN State Fair Talent Competition (2015), 1st place in the North Star Concerto Competition (2013), 1st place (with a unanimous decision by the jury) in the Maria Herrero International Piano Competition in Granada, Spain (2012), 2nd place in the MN State Fair Talent Competition (2011), Honorable Mention in the Schubert Club Competition (2016), a finalist in the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association Competition (2016), Honorable Mention in the Thursday Musical Competition (2015), and 2nd place in the MN State Fair Talent Competition (2011). She is a two-time recipient of the Schubert Club Special Awards Grant (2016 and 2015). She has also received the Wildwood Series Young Artist Award (2013), the Norma, Italy International Music Festival Award (2011), and the Varallo, Italy International Piano Festival Performance Award (2010).
In the spring of 2013, she made her orchestral debut with the Minnetonka Orchestra, playing Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 in A Major. Emma attended the Accademia Tadini International Music Festival in Lovere, Italy, in the summer of 2014. At the festival, she played the 2nd and 3rd movements of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1 with members of the Milan Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2015, she was invited to take lessons, master classes and perform at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University for three weeks with faculty from around the country. She was one of three chosen to perform in a master class with Nelita True. Emma studied in the summer of 2016 at Oberlin Conservatory and in 2017 at Kent State University, where she and Jacob were chosen to play in a masterclass with legendary piano duo Anderson and Roe.
In Oct. 2016, Emma and Jacob appeared on the stage of Orchestra Hall with world famous, Grammy nominated recording artist, Sheila E. Emma played alongside Sheila E.’s band and accompanied Sheila E.
Emma is extremely honored to be a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award (2016) which is accompanied by a $10,000 scholarship. In conjunction with this, she and her eleven-year-old brother, Jacob Taggart, appeared as a duo on the nationally syndicated radio show, From The Top, in November, 2016.
Just this past summer, Emma and Jacob were invited to participate in the “Grand Piano in Palace” Int’l Piano Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. They performed in prestigious Russian palaces and mansions and played concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg. They were both awarded the Grand Prix of the festival and were offered a scholarship to return next year, as well as a opportunity to embark on a concert tour of Russia!
Most recently, Emma was announced winner of the Rising Stars Concerto Competition and received $2000 and an opportunity to perform with the LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra in March!!
She and Jacob also won first place the United States Int’l Duo Piano Competition (USIDPC) this January!
Jacob Taggart is a eleven-year-old classically trained pianist. Jacob started lessons at age four with Mrs. Mary Carloni. After a year, Jacob was referred on to Juilliard graduate, Dr. Reid Smith, with whom he currently studies.
In May 2013, at the age of six, Jacob won his first piano award, the Wildwood Series Young Artist Award. In the summer of 2013, he was a finalist at the MN State Fair Talent Competition. The following year, at the age of seven, Jacob won the pre-teen division. Jacob wowed a crowd of 5,000 and became one of the youngest winners ever of the State Fair Talent Competition. Most recently, Jacob took 1st place in the Great Composers Competition in June, 2016.
Jacob attended his first piano festival in July 2014, the Accademia Tadini International Music Festival in Lovere, Italy. In addition to playing a solo recital, he played the first movement of the Bach Concerto No. 5 with members of the Milan Chamber Orchestra. He has also taken Masterclasses with some of the world’s greatest pianists, including Vincenzo Balzani (Italy), Shuku Iwasaki (Japan), and Alexander Yakovlev (Russia).
In Oct. 2016, Emma and Jacob appeared on the stage of Orchestra Hall with world famous, Grammy nominated recording artist, Sheila E. Jacob played a jazz piece alongside Sheila E.’s band.
Jacob appeared on the nationally syndicated radio show, From The Top, taped live at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, MN, on November 13th, 2016. He performed Der Erlkonig with his sister, Emma Taggart.
Jacob has a true love of playing piano that is evident during his performances. Even at a young age, he is able to draw in his audience as he performs.
Most recently, Emma and Jacob were announced joint winners of the Golden Valley Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition. They will both be performing concerto movements with the Golden Valley Orchestra in March!